Children's homes to benefit from $40-m fire safety project

Saturday, February 16, 2019

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SUPREME Ventures Foundation is partnering with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to improve fire safety and security at 30 children's homes, at a cost of $40 million.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the undertaking was signed on Wednesday at York Park Fire Station in Kingston.

The project will be implemented over two years, with the first step to entail an assessment of the facilities by the Jamaica Fire Brigade. Thereafter the recommendations will be implemented, starting with homes with the greatest needs.

State minister Floyd Green thanked Supreme Ventures Foundation for partnering with the Government to “better meet the needs of children in State care”.

He noted that child protection is a “massive priority” of the Administration, and “we have to continue to do significant work” in this regard.

“Children who enter the facilities come from very difficult circumstances… and part of our responsibility is to ensure that when they come into contact with our residential facilities, they are safe and come out as better persons,” Green said.

Chief executive officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, Rosalee Gage-Grey commended Supreme Ventures Foundation for its continued “investment in the lives of our children”, citing the entity's $10-million pledge towards the rebuilding of Walker's Place of Safety.

Chairman of the foundation, Peter McConnell said that the entity views childcare and protection as “very important”.

He said that the decision to fund efforts to improve fire safety at children's homes is based on data from audits carried out on the institutions, which indicate the need for such support.

Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison and Chief Fire Prevention Officer Julian Davis-Buckle, also endorsed the undertaking.

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