JIS News

Guardians and parents of the 41 Portland children left behind after the Rio Grande truck tragedy of December 2008, today (July 16) received commitment letters for the funding of their education.
At the handing over ceremony in Port Antonio this morning, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Hon. Daryl Vaz, thanked businesses and members of the public who contributed just over $5 million dollars to a bank account after he issued a call for help immediately following the incident.
The 14 family heads will be compensated for expenses incurred specifically for the development and educational needs of each child, including school materials, transportation, lunch and some medical expenses such as reading glasses. It is expected that the first payments will cover back-to-school expenses for September.
Minister Vaz emphasised that the money was to ensure that the children will receive a sound education that will give them a start in life.
The money is being held in an account at the OPM and managed by a multi agency steering committee established by Minister Vaz. The Portland Parish Council will manage the reimbursements and visit the families to ensure that the funds are being properly used.

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