Thu | Dec 12, 2019

Canadian expats donate to Walker’s reconstruction

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:05 AM

More than $20 million has so far been raised in contributions from public and private entities towards the reconstruction of the Walker’s Place of Safety, which cares for over 50 children.

The latest donation, of CAD$1,074 ($114,670) from Jamaicans living in Canada, was recently presented to the home by Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.

The handover was made at the ministry’s New Kingston offices, and represented funds collected in August this year, at the Jamaican High Commission-organised 57th Independence Thanksgiving Service in Ottawa, Canada.

Audrey Budhi, director of children and family programmes of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), which administers projects at the children’s home, noted that the funds would aid in the creation of a state-of-the-art facility, following its destruction by fire in January 2018.

Two wards of the State, 12-year-old Anika McCrea and 16-year-old Annakay Moreland, perished in the fire, which displaced 34 other wards and caregivers.

“The vision we have is that the Walker’s Place of Safety will be purpose-built, with wheelchair access, sensory rooms, and, in general, be therapeutic for the children,” Budhi shared.

More than $100 million is required for the reconstruction exercise.