Mary’s Child has benefited from a donation of $411,700 to assist its work in providing housing and other assistance for teen mothers and their babies.
The funds were provided by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the United States (US)-based Links charity.
Mary’s Child, which is a programme under the Mustard Seed Communities, is a residential facility for teen mothers and accommodates 12 mothers and their babies for one year.
Regional Director, AHF, Dr. Kevin Harvey, who handed over the cheque to Administrator of Mary’s Child, Nadia Williams, on Monday (August 10), said that the donation came out of a visit to the home by the AHF managers from the US earlier this year, who indicated that they were “very impressed with the girls and how the home was being run”.
He noted that the Foundation had already provided a grant of approximately $250,000 to the home to help with food and other needs.
“They decided that they wanted to raise some funds to add to whatever we were providing,” Dr. Harvey said, noting that the AHF connected with Links to raise the money.
Meanwhile, Dr. Harvey reiterated his organisation’s support to the Mustard Seed Communities.
“We have provided support to the Mustard Seed Communities over a number of years and, particularly, we provide support to children living with HIV at the Dare to Care facility, so we have been doing that for three years and that has been consistent,” he said.
Ms Williams, in her remarks at the handover ceremony held at the AHF’s offices located on Hagley Park Road in St. Andrew, expressed gratitude for the donation and pledged to use the funds wisely.
She said that despite the challenges created by the coronavirus (COVID-19), Mary’s Child remains committed to empowering the girls who are under its care.
In addition to providing shelter for teen mothers and their babies, Mary’s Child offers training for educational, professional and personal development, including computer courses, home economics classes and informational lectures on parenting skills. Each mother is also immersed in opportunities for spiritual development.
The Mustard Seed Communities provides residential care to more than 400 children and adults in 13 homes across Jamaica and caters to children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, and young mothers in crisis.