Jamaicans often joke about 'age paper' (birth certificate), but the barriers and challenges those without one face on a daily basis are no laughing matter. Happily, Tashana Buckley is smiling now, as are her guardians, Keith and Shirley Webley.
They have finally been able to secure the birth certificate that will open doors for their young ward.
Eleven-year-old Tashana, a grade-six student at the McAuley Primary School, can now confidently register and sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
Tashana is one of close to 3,000 persons who are beneficiaries of phase two of 'Operation Certification' - part of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Inner-city Basic Services Project which, in association with the Registrar General's Department, delivered registration documents free of charge in 12 inner-city communities.
The initiative was funded by the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica and has seen residents of Flanker in St James; Bucknor, Knollis, Shelter Rock, Lauriston, Tawes Meadows and March Pen/Africa in St Catherine, as well as Whitfield Town and Jones Town in St Andrew, all benefiting from targeted outreach fairs designed to achieve social inclusion.
The Webleys are now singing the praises of the programme following many failed attempts to access a birth certificate for Tashana.
"It was hard," said Mrs Webley.
"I'm so happy that Tashana has received her birth certificate. This tells the world she has an identity. She can travel, further her schooling and get involved in sports here and abroad. Even in cases of emergency, God forbid, the hospital will ask for her birth certificate," added Mrs Webley.
For her part, Tashana is elated. "I can't wait to fly," referring to her dream to visit a beloved uncle overseas, a wish now made possible because she has a birth certificate.
But there is also a bigger dream as Tashana, who has the ambition to be a criminal lawyer, celebrates the documentation that will allow her to "do the GSAT and go to high school and learn so much more".
Claudia Byer, principal of McAuley Primary, is also "grateful".
Commending JSIF for their role in assisting children in getting birth certificates, Byer said, "This is so important in the registration process on entering school and for examination purposes. Thank you, JSIF, please continue to help our schools."
But it is not only schoolchildren that need birth certificates. Birth registration also facilitates access to a host of rights, including right to nationality, access to health care, school enrolment, employment, opening a bank account, obtaining a passport, and voting.
In addition, many of the beneficiaries of 'Operation Certification' now find it much easier to collect remittances from overseas, as with their birth certificate they now have been able to obtain national identification.
They can also get a Tax Registration Number, National Insurance and National Health Fund benefits.
The 3,000 beneficiaries of Phase II of 'Operation Certification', which ran from October 2012 to December 2013, join another 1,200 who benefited from Phase I in 2009.
Several agencies collaborated with the JSIF to provide various services to the beneficiaries, including the Tax Administration Jamaica and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.