Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
A private school in St Catherine has offered a tuition-free scholarship to the eight-year-old girl in the Irwin, St James, rape incident. Principal of the Hydel Group of Schools, Hyacinth Bennett, has joined a growing list of Jamaicans offering help to the five females raped in Irwin, St James, last week.
Bennett is offering the scholarship for the little girl to attend the St Catherine-based institution.
The child, who along with her mother and three other members of her family were raped by gunmen at their Irwin Point home in St James last Monday night, remains in stable condition in hospital.
She has expressed fear of returning to school, believing that she will be ridiculed by her peers.
In response to her plea, Bennett yesterday told The Sunday Gleaner that she was willing to offer the scholarship to the school where she also operates a boarding facility. However, the boarding fees would have to be paid.
"I made this decision when I read your story this morning (Saturday) ... and learned that she does not want to go back to her school," said Bennett.
Since last Wednesday, several persons and entities, including telecommunications provider Flow, have offered to assist the females in general and the eight-year-old in particular.
Flow has offered to set up an account for the eight-year-old.
"I read the article and I was so touched. All I can think of is how this child will need help in the years to come. I have been talking with a number of my friends at work and we want to set up an account with JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers), so that she can get the best counselling and therapy in the country," said Nicole Campbell of Flow.
Yesterday the Montego Bay-based Friends for Education committed $625,000 over the next five years towards the eight-year-olds' educational needs.
"We are committing $125,000 per year for the next five years because we are very disturbed that something like this could happen," Vijay Sadarangani, founder of the organisation, told The Sunday Gleaner.
The newly formed Coalition Against Sexual Violence group announced that it is trying to find funding to pay for a private hospital room for the child.