Western Bureau:The NAZ Children's Centre in Montego Bay has received a generous donation of $31 million from Digicel Foundation to construct a new facility, which is earmarked for completion by September 2013.
With the expected increased space, the school is now poised to start the Leadership Education and Achievement Programme, which will enable special-needs children over the age of 13 to learn a skill. Students will have the option of engaging in craftwork, landscaping and cosmetology.
As a part of its mission, the school will also be looking at additional areas in which special-needs persons can be employed in the hospitality industry.
"The Digicel Foundation embodies quality and by being associated with this foundation, people will view the school as one that offers quality education, a responsibility that we take very seriously," said Alixann Narcisse-Campbell, NAZ founder and principal.
"We also want to have a programme where we can hire our former students in jobs on the school premises as this could help them to transition into the real working world," added Narcisse-Campbell.
PART Of BIGGER PLAN
Samantha Chantrelle, executive director of Digicel Foundation, noted that with the necessity of special-needs education across Jamaica, such a donation is just a part of its commitment to provide three such facilities by 2014.
"In investing in NAZ Children's Centre, what we are doing is trying to develop the educational opportunities available in the western section of the island in a way that will truly be impactful," said Chantrelle.
In addition to the Digicel Foundation, NAZ has received assistance from a host of other entities and people, including Rose Hall Developments Ltd; Master Spas, a hot-tub company located in Indiana in the United States; and the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation.
NAZ caters to children from kindergarten to grade six. It is structured to cater to average learners who work above age and grade levels as well as children with autism, cerebral palsy and learning disorders.