JAHJAH Creates Wellness Centre for Hanbury Children’s Home
The worries of having to find an empty room conducive for a child who is feeling ill, and the inconveniences of having treatment administered in discomfort are
finally over for the children and staff of the Hanbury Children's Home. They now bask in the completion of their new wellness centre.
Made possible through the JAHJAH (Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home) Foundation, an old building on the property was completely renovated and retrofitted with medical equipment and supplies.
Founder of JAHJAH, Dr Trevor Dixon, said that the project completion came out of a need to help orphans, under the umbrella of health care, and to ensure the home has the additional resources it needs to operate effectively, according to government standards.
At an approximate cost of US$10,000 to US$15,000, over a four-month period (October 2014-January 2015), 20 international volunteers transformed the building to include one examination room, a dispensary room, a kitchenette, an extended bathroom, enlarged doorways, and installed ramps.
"We have about 10 to 15 members and representatives across different countries, including Canada and Jamaica, and what we do is, we host an annual fundraiser, which is a jerk fest, and the proceeds go to whichever project we decide on. We get medical supplies from Newark Medical Centre, where I worked as an attending physician for 10 years. For this Hanbury project, we also had KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) donating some paediatric cribs, among other supplies," said Dixon.
With services rendered to the House of Spring Health Centre in Trelawny and renovations done to the Kingston Public Hospital by the three-year-old foundation, this marks the second building to be refurbished by the group.
"We have to thank persons like Hugh Simpson out of Canada; Andrea Peper; and Dr
Jacqueline McLean-Marta's and Dr Ruth Parkin of Irie Smile Dental in New Jersey, who have helped to make these donations possible. Next, we want to develop an urgent care centre for House of Springs Health Centre in Trelawny, so persons who come in can be stabilised before being transferred to Falmouth or Mandeville Hospital."
With many individuals and entities across the island in great need, Major Jennifer Brown is pleased that the needs of the home were made a priority.
"Before now, if a child got sick, we would tuck them into a room, but that wasn't ideal. We needed a place where they could recuperate. We are happy for our local sponsors, the JAHJAH Foundation, Salvation Army International, and all who came on board to make this possible."
She continued, "Currently, we have three practical nurses on staff and doctors and paediatricians have promised to make periodical visits,"
With a house of 54 children and teens, aged seven months to 19 years, Major Brown says the wellness centre will not just serve their physical health needs, but also their social psychological and spiritual needs - offering a more holistic approach to care.
As time progresses, it is the hope of the administration to strengthen the offerings of education to the children with a reopened library and cyber centre after having acquired additional books, shelves and computers from those willing to sponsor.