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Story Highlights

  • Two cheques, valued over US$3,000, were recently presented to the Port Antonio Infirmary and the Bellevue Hospital, the largest mental institution in the English-speaking Caribbean.
  • The donation is from the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. Funds were collected at the annual Independence Church Service, held by the Embassy on August 2, 2015.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A. J. Nicholson, presented the cheques to Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Bellevue Hospital, Latoya McFarlane, and Director of Administration at the Portland Parish Council, Marilyn Pitter, at a handover ceremony.

Two cheques, valued over US$3,000, were recently presented to the Port Antonio Infirmary and the Bellevue Hospital, the largest mental institution in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The donation is from the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. Funds were collected at the annual Independence Church Service, held by the Embassy on August 2, 2015.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A. J. Nicholson, presented the cheques to Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Bellevue Hospital, Latoya McFarlane, and Director of Administration at the Portland Parish Council, Marilyn Pitter, at a handover ceremony, held at the offices of the Ministry at 21 Dominica Drive, in New Kingston.

Mr. Nicholson said the Washington Mission was happy to make a contribution and to “send some kind of cheer and assistance” to the institutions.

Expressing his appreciation for the donation, the Minister said the Missions, through the Ministry, have often “stretched their hands to help on many occasions.”

After the presentations, the Minister was briefed by representatives of the institutions on the use of the funds.

Mrs. McFarlane said the contribution will further strengthen and expand the farming and skills training programmes at the hospital. She also revealed plans to start a laundry project.

“We hope to do laundry for the entire South East Region and in doing so, we hope to employ a number of our patients in that project, so what we are doing is to teach them life skills, so they can transition,” she said.

Mrs. McFarlane noted  that most of the patients at Bellevue are ‘stable’ and really belong out in society, but are unable to do so, due to the lack of strong support from their families.

“So, it is now for us to care for them, and unfortunately many of them stay with us until they die, so we are the family. We have to ensure that we engage them a lot and ensure that they feel wanted, so this contribution will go a far way,” she said.

For her part, Miss Pitter thanked the Embassy for the contribution, noting that it will help to satisfy some of the needs of the residents.

“I am positive it will go a far way, as currently there are needs that the residents at the infirmary have. We really thank the Mission in Washington for considering the Portland Parish Council Infirmary and for giving us this donation,” she said.