Sat | Sep 25, 2021

FLOW prepares JNCH wards for back to school

Published:Monday | September 9, 2019 | 12:07 AM
Children from the Jamaica National Children’s Home as well as staff members and FLOW volunteers make their way to Maxi Department Store in Portmore for  a day of shopping.
Children from the Jamaica National Children’s Home as well as staff members and FLOW volunteers make their way to Maxi Department Store in Portmore for a day of shopping.

Smiles and squeals of joy emanated from several business places in the ‘Sunshine City’ of Portmore on Wednesday, August 21, as several of the children impacted by the recent fire at the Jamaica National Children’s Home (JNCH) enjoyed a day of back-to-school preparations, coupled with a fun-filled retreat. Fêted by telecommunications firm FLOW, the 37 wards of the State and their caregivers were treated to a back-to-school shopping adventure valued at over $1 million while chaperoned by the company’s employee volunteer squad.

At the Kingston Bookshop and Maxie Department Store locations in Portmore, each student was given a combined store credit of $18,000 to select well-needed items in preparation for the reopening of schools in September. Included in the day’s haul were school bags, books and stationery, uniform items, along with a few treats. KFC also partnered with FLOW to provide lunches for the group before they spent an afternoon at play in the Buzzer’s Play Zone.

pride

Stephen Price, FLOW’s country manager, expressed pride as he joined the children for video games, laser tag and popcorn at the popular youth entertainment spot.

“We were very concerned when we learned about the fire at the home on August 9. Immediately, we decided that we must get involved to assist, and today is just the beginning of our commitment to help restore normalcy to those affected,” Price shared. “For us, beyond a donation, it was important for us to find a meaningful way to connect with and uplift the children, many of whom were traumatised by the fire,” he added.

Price also shared that the company is currently spearheading a donation drive among its 1,100 team members to collect other necessary items, and will be looking to see how it can further assist with restoration efforts at the fire-damaged facilities.

Audrey Budhi, director – children and family programmes at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), also joined in on the games. She expressed gratitude to the company which, she said, “is always there to lend a hand”.

“FLOW Jamaica has partnered with the CPFSA on many occasions to provide our children with unique and fun experiences. Wednesday’s outing was yet another demonstration of this, as the company’s show of corporate social responsibility was not only well timed, but also quite targeted. The excursion proved to be therapeutic, lifting the children’s spirits and offering an extraordinary adventure with fun activities; while seamlessly getting every child prepared for the new school year. We thank FLOW and its employees for continuing to invest in the lives of Jamaica’s children,” Budhi said.