Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU :
SERVANT'S HEART Jamaica Incorporated (SHJI) and the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, (JCSD) on Wednesday broke ground on six and a quarter acres of land at Eden, St James for the construction of a multi-purpose complex for persons who are hearing impaired.
Co-founder of Servant's Heart Jamaica, Vanessa Scales, said the complex, which would include four housing units and a church, is set to cost approximately US$210,000.
"Each housing unit will cost about US$35,000 and there will be four of those, and then the church will cost about US$70,000 to be built. We just recently began raising the funds, because we had to get our paperwork done before we could approach anyone to be a donor," said Scales.
"So far, we have raised US$25,000 of the first US$35,000 that we are going to need for each housing unit," she added.
Scales said while she is optimistic some funding will come from Jamaica, she expects most of it to be garnered from sources in the United States.
She said the housing units are particularly needed as they will serve to assist students who will graduate from the school in 2014, but who would not have anywhere to live for a while.
The housing units would also serve as mission houses for ministry teams from the United States wishing to serve in Jamaica on a temporary basis.
Spiritual and physical needs
Constituency organiser for South St James and representative from the Office of the Prime Minister, Dennis Wanliss, who delivered the prime minister's speech, commended both organisations for collaborating to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of the deaf community in St James.
Presenting the principal's perspective, teacher at the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, Naeika, Shaw said the school, one of 13 such institutions in Jamaica, prides itself as being one of the best despite numerous challenges.
"Forty-five students from seven parishes across Jamaica are enrolled at this school with 11 qualified teachers. Our students are exposed to the national curriculum and examination. We are so proud of our recent GSAT awardee, Kemoy Clarke, who was placed at Cambridge High School. However, he is unable to attend because the school does not have the resources to cater to his needs," said Shaw.