KINGSTON — State Minister for Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, is lauding the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) for its continued contribution to the development of children residing in inner-city communities.
“VOUCH is making a huge difference in the lives of many families here in the inner-city, providing day care … and also doing a full pre-school. They are doing a fantastic job,” he told JIS News yesterday during a visit to the institution located at 1 National Heroes Circle in Kingston.
The State Minister also toured the Sylvia Foot Basic School, located on the compound, where he engaged students in an interactive storytelling session, incorporating the classic children’s fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. Other officials from the Ministry, who were among the touring party, also read to the students.
Mr. Gallimore said the Ministry’s visit was in keeping with the recently-concluded Reading Week and in support of the entity’s significant role in caring for almost 135 children daily, among the various institutions it operates. He said that the Ministry will be donating books to the Sylvia Foot Basic School in a month’s time.
“We want to give them encouragement, we want to give them whatever assistance we can in doing the job that they are doing, and we are very pleased with what they have done with the resources they have so far,” he said.
The visit also formed part of activities to mark the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) 45th anniversary this year. The NIS is undertaking several activities to promote the benefits of the contribution-funded social security scheme as well as the need for savings.
Founded in 1979, VOUCH is a non-governmental agency, which caters to expectant mothers and children up to six years old, through its various institutions comprising a pre-natal clinic, nursery and pre-school, and a basic school. The entity also provides services for children with special needs.
VOUCH primarily caters to the immediate communities of Fletcher’s Land and Allman Town, but also reaches families in Duhaney Park, Portmore, St. Catherine, and Yallahs in St. Thomas.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter