Having the children under her care getting the mental stimulation they need, is a “dream come true” for Child Care Manager of the Best Care Lodge, in Kingston, Margaret Loney.
Her dream has been fulfilled through the help of the Digicel Foundation, which made the home for children with mental and physical challenges its project for Labour Day, today (May 25).
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, Major General Robert Neish, told JIS News that the project is a continuation of work which was undertaken at the home, located on Trevennion Road, with the proceeds from last year’s Digicel Rising Stars competition.
He said the home’s basic school facility was very limited and so the company undertook to expand it, establish a library, put in computer facilities and build bathrooms. “Because we were doing that, we realised that they had so many other needs. So we did some planning and preparation to come back on Labour Day,” he added.
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, Major General Robert Neish, paints a section of the play area at the Best Care Lodge on Trevennion Road in Kingston, on Labour Day (May 25). The work was undertaken as part of the Foundation’s Labour Day project at the children’s home, where they also planted a vegetable garden and installed play equipment.
Staff from the mobile phone company and members of the Cadet Corps at Kingston College worked hard, painting, tiling and re-roofing an outside play area; installing indoor and outdoor play equipment; planting a vegetable patch; and doing craftwork with some of the children.
Public Relations Co-ordinator for the Foundation, Benton McTaggart, said the play equipment installed by the volunteers were specially made to accommodate children with physical disabilities. He further explained that the Foundation decided to put in a vegetable garden as a way of helping the home reduce its food expenses.
Staff of Digicel Jamaica Limited and cadets from Kingston College work together to improve the outdoor play area for children at the Best Care Lodge on Trevennion Road in Kingston, on Labour Day, (May 25). The work day was organised by the Digicel Foundation as its Labour Day project.
Miss Loney told JIS News she was happy the youngsters under her care would now be able to get the stimulation they required, as a result of the work done by the Digicel Foundation.
The home houses 47 challenged residents, including 33 adults. “There is no place to move them on to, so they become our own,” she said, explaining why the children’s home is housing the adults.
She said the play area set up by the Foundation would provide a place where the adults can be stimulated and supervised.
Turning to the younger residents of the home, Miss Loney said she is hoping to expand the educational offerings of the school section of the home, “so the little ones coming up, at least they can have a little skill, so that they can be productive citizens.”
The home currently runs a kindergarten and primary school, and Miss Loney told JIS News that the Best Care Foundation is hoping to extend the services of the school to the community. “What we want to do is to start selling the school to the community. So, we’ll admit children who have special needs to the school, for a fee,” she pointed out.