Sun | Aug 25, 2019

Samuda comforts kids at burnt-out children’s home

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:21 AM

The Government has pledged its support in rebuilding the Jamaica National Children’s Home in Papine, St Andrew, which was gutted by fire last Friday.

“You have the full support of the officials and the ministry that I am responsible for, and we will continue to give you the help you need,” said Karl Samuda, minister without portfolio with responsibility for education, youth and information, who was speaking with the children on Saturday during a visit with the youngsters who have been temporarily relocated to another childcare facility.

Samuda said the children “seemed to be in good spirits” and have a positive outlook, despite the trying circumstances.

“I think they are encouraged by the instant response of the ministry and the effort to facilitate them and provide for their welfare, and for adequate meals and to make (all the necessary) arrangements.”

Samuda said he was comforted in the knowledge that they are getting the best care they can under the circumstances.

“I am very heartened when we look at the children and the way they respond… . I have great faith in this establishment and others like it throughout the country,” he added.

Assessment

A release from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency said the agency is in dialogue with the Jamaica Fire Brigade, which is conducting an assessment as to the cause of the fire. A report is to be produced shortly.

Additionally, a team of counsellors has been assigned to provide psychosocial support for children who are between eight and 17 years of age and caregivers over the coming weeks.

Also, a full assessment and inventory of needs is being prepared for both children and staff. Immediate needs are clothing, shoes, personal-care items, and toiletries.

Donations can be made at 9 Christopher Road, Stony Hill, St Andrew, daily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.