Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Faith Education Centre moves to new location - Hard-hit institution secures premises through successful GoFundMe campaign

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2020 | 12:05 AMJamila Litchmore/Acting Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor
The entrance to the new Faith Education Centre, located in Innswood Village.
The entrance to the new Faith Education Centre, located in Innswood Village.
One of the two classrooms at the Faith Education Centre.
One of the two classrooms at the Faith Education Centre.
Sheriva Small
Sheriva Small
Though smaller, the building is newer and suits the needs of the institution.
Though smaller, the building is newer and suits the needs of the institution.
Many of the charts and furniture from the old location have been neatly fitted into this second classroom.
Many of the charts and furniture from the old location have been neatly fitted into this second classroom.
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Faith Education Centre has settled into its new location. The special-needs institution, which launched a GoFundMe campaign on May 21 to relocate from its Willodene, Spanish Town, location, has moved to Innswood Village, also in the Old Capital.

“We moved June 29 of this year. Our previous deadline to move was June 30. On the nick of time, we got through, and we moved, thanks be to God,” shared a grateful Shervina Small.

The principal of the institution says the GoFundMe campaign changed the tide for the organisation, which was on the brink of closure, noting that the US$3,050 raised from the initial campaign was of great assistance.

“We were able to pay up some months’ rent in advance. We were able to [make] the whole payment for moving. We were able to add an addition at the back of the premises. All of that was from the GoFundMe,” she told The Gleaner. They were also able to buy much-needed supplies.

Small says she is grateful to all who made it possible.

SMALLER BUT BETTER

The new location, though smaller, is not far from the old site and boasts two classrooms and a sickbay. The veranda was converted into an office and a temporary storage facility built in the back.

“The infrastructure is much better. You could see at the last location, the roof was in a deplorable condition, and this location, it’s much better. It’s all slab. It’s neater, it’s more attractive. It’s [more] comfortable,” said Small, adding that the school is the only tenant at the premises. Another plus for the educator.

Though it was a tedious task, Small was able to prepare the location with the help of Andria Lawrence, affectionately referred to by parents and children as ‘Aunty Andria’, her children, and her partner, who took time off from his job as a taxi driver to assist and did all the heavy lifting and construction.

A new location isn’t Faith Education Centre’s only good fortune. They continue to receive support from Food For The Poor, which has been supporting the institution since its inception and recently donated a filing cabinet, tables, and bookshelves.

They have received additional support from the Bob Marley Foundation, which reached out to The Gleaner following the publication of the story ‘Leap of faith – special-needs school launches campaign to keep door open’.

Small said the foundation has pledged to assist the school with its first-term rent and called it “a great help”, especially as the institution and its parents continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. “It is a hard time now for everyone. This a blessing,” said Small.

Faith Education ended the school term with 10 students but is now down to four, but Small is taking the adjustment in stride and pivoting by putting more focus on the school’s private tutoring services.

With a location secured, she still has plans to create a therapy room and an outdoor play area for her special-needs students and needs US$1,541 to hit the increased GoFundMe goal amount of US$5,000.

To donate to the Faith Education Centre, visit gofundme.com/f/save-faith-education-centre-from-closure. You may also call (876) 801-9030 or (876) 648-8900. Have a good story you’d like to share? Email us at goodheart@gleanerjm.com.

jamila.litchmore@gleanerjm.com