JIS News

Construction of kitchen and dining facilities at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation is scheduled to begin this month, with the contribution of US$50,000 by the Jamaica Volunteers Association (JVA) Incorporated, based in the United States.
During the ground breaking ceremony, held on July 7 at the Foundation’s headquarters in Kingston, President of the JVA, Professor Donald Morgan, handed over a US$14,000 cheque to Executive Director of the Foundation, Beryl Weir. This is in addition to a US$36,000 cheque donated last year.
The facility, when completed, will also be used as a classroom for the teaching of culinary arts, as well as for the hosting of functions.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Faith Innerarity, who brought greetings on behalf of Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, noted that “it has been a major challenge in preparing and providing meals in the small kitchen and dining area, which are also used for training in home economics,” as up to 100 young women attend sessions at the centre each day.
She pointed out that the Foundation has been providing much needed support to young women since it was established in 1978, and that one of the main lessons it is hoped that the young women would learn, “is that they can recover from the setback of an unplanned pregnancy and still achieve their goals in life.”
Mrs. Innerarity said that in the 30 years of its existence, the entity has helped nearly 40,000 teen mothers to achieve their professional or vocational goals.
The Permanent Secretary thanked the JVA for assisting the Foundation in continuing its important work, with its “very worthy contribution.”
Chairperson of the Foundation, Princess Lawes, said that infrastructural development needs to continue, because “we outgrow our facilities so often, and facilities that we should have in place, we do not have in place. So, we are ever grateful to those who come in and assist us to continue our development.”
Professor Morgan, in his remarks, urged Jamaicans at home and abroad, to do more in helping to strengthen the social institutions in Jamaica.
“Without the strengthening of these social institutions, the very fabric, the very foundation of our country will disintegrate,” he said.
The Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, is a national programme that addresses the problems of interrupted education and the accompanying social issues associated with teenage pregnancy.
It focusses on education, training and developmental counselling, thereby improving levels of employment and productivity among the young women, and delaying unwanted pregnancies.
Some of the services offered by the centre are: ‘walk-in’ counselling service for women and men; counselling for fathers and parents of teen mothers; skill training for both males and females in the age group 17 to 25; confidential counselling service for children of any age, and group peer counselling sessions at the Kingston Counselling Clinic; and day care facilities for babies of teen and working mothers.
Construction of the kitchen and dining facilities is expected to be completed by the start of the new school year.

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