THE CHILDREN of the Glenhope Nursery received a much-needed Christmas present in the form of a roof over a play area which they could not use before because it was not sheltered from the sun or the rain.
The children are now able to enjoy themselves playing and engaging in other activities to enrich their lives without worrying about the weather.
The nursery was established in 1973 to provide care and protection for infants and young children in moral and physical danger and in need of the intervention of the State. In addition to caring for the children, the nursery offers a stimulation and preschool programme for toddlers and children up to three years old, while the older children are registered and enrolled at the Holy Trinity Basic and Maxfield Primary schools.
The International Proxy Parents (IPP), in association with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and 15 local sponsors raised over $3 million to construct the roof, which was commissioned by the Child Development Agency (CDA), under whose supervision the management of the nursery falls. The roof was completed this month, thanks to the generous donations of the sponsors, and it was greatly appreciated by Rosalee Gage-Grey, the acting chief executive officer of CDA, and the manager of the nursery, Maxine Smith, and more so, the children.
The newly roofed area was officially opened on Monday by Lady Allen, who is the patron of IPP. She was assisted in cutting the ribbon, to declare the roof completed, by Josef Beck, ambassador of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was the main sponsor. Entertainment in song was provided by children from the nursery, while children from the Maxfield Park children's Home delighted with drumming.
"We are delighted that the children are now able to play in a cool, dry outdoor area within the safety of the nursery, and that we raised enough money to finish the project in time for Christmas," said Peju Wilson, president of the IPP.
The IPP's primary purpose is to help less privileged children in Jamaica. A charitable organisation, it gives scholarships to bright, needy students in secondary schools; assists four children's homes and two basic schools in cash and kind; has monthly birthday parties for the children at Glenhope Nursery; and arranges annual beach and theatre trips for children from the various homes. Membership is comprised of Jamaicans, persons from the diplomatic missions, and expatriates, all of whom volunteer their services.