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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Antonica Gunter Gayle, is imploring Jamaicans to participate in activities that will benefit persons with disabilities (PWDs).
  • More than 350 persons from the ESP and the Ministry took part in the run/walk, up from 100 last year. The ESP received a trophy for having the most participants.
  • ESP is an early intervention programme for children with disabilities from birth to six years old.

Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Antonica Gunter Gayle, is imploring Jamaicans to participate in activities that will benefit persons with disabilities (PWDs).

She was speaking against the background of the recent staging of Digicel Foundation’s 5K Imagine Run/Walk, the proceeds of which went to people with special needs.

Mrs. Gunter Gayle, in hailing the staging of the fundraising event, said “these kinds of ventures help to sensitise persons about the needs of persons who are unique.”

“Persons… can help in their own way to show that they care. These events need to be supported because they help in giving opportunity and helping PWDs, especially children, to reach their full potential,” she added.

More than 350 persons from the ESP and the Ministry took part in the run/walk, up from 100 last year. The ESP received a trophy for having the most participants.

“Our parents, the children, the staff were all excited about this event (as) we always look forward to it because of the… meaning behind the event, which is giving to special needs,” she said.

Mrs. Gunter Gayle told JIS News that Digicel Foundation has been providing significant support to the ESP over the last two years, including the building of a Child Development Centre for the Stimulation-Plus facility in Rockfort, East Kingston. The centre has six classrooms, an administrative block, a therapy room and bathroom.

The Foundation has also provided training for teachers and child development officers, who work in various communities, in addition to specialised equipment and teaching aids.

Mrs. Gunter Gayle informed that another Child Development Centre in Portland, also funded by the Digicel Foundation, is slated to be opened before the end of the year.

The facility, for which ground was broken in October last year, is being constructed through a $30 million donation from the Foundation and will accommodate some 100 special needs children from Portland and its environs.

ESP is an early intervention programme for children with disabilities from birth to six years old.