MSS: Partnering to transform lives and livelihood
Dr Jodi-Ann White examine, a patient at the Back-to-School Fair in Mona Commons in August 2016.
MONA SOCIAL Service (MSS) is a community-centred outreach initiative established by the University of the West Indies Mona campus in 2006, to foster development within 10 neighbouring inner-city communities in proximity to the university. Under the leadership of the executive director, Dr Olivene Burke, a partnership was forged with the Lions Club of Mona in 2016. This has given rise to a number of initiatives to benefit residents in the Mona Valley.
In August 2016, Mona Social Services, Lions Club of Mona, and Mona Common Steering Committee coordinated a back-to-school treat and health fair, which had over 140 children receiving medical check-ups. The August 20 event, held at Mona Common Basic School, saw 40 parents, as well, benefiting from general health checks – blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index and vision-screening tests. One grateful parent exclaimed, “This came at a great time because I no longer have to worry about paying for a medical. My son just got his medical passport updated.” The treat had its participants receiving school supplies and other trinkets.
In further promoting partnership, the Child Development Agency was on board to provide very useful information on the Child Care and Protection Act. Many parents said they were hearing some of what was presented for the first time. Dr Olivene Burke, executive director, Mona Social Services.