The Star (Jamaica) - - FRONT PAGE -

Acramped room, ter­mite-in­fested roof and dis­lo­ca­tion were some of the chal­lenges that Lloyds Ba­sic School in St Thomas faced over the years as the ear­ly­child­hood in­sti­tu­tion did not oc­cupy a build­ing of its own.

The school, which was once housed in a church, was asked to va­cate the premises last year, forc­ing the prin­ci­pal to move her 30 charges into a sec­tion of an aban­doned house that had no proper bath­room or kitchen.

The many prayers of teach­ers, par­ents and chil­dren for a struc­ture of their own was an­swered when Food For The Poor (FFP) Canada and FFP Ja­maica joined forces to con­struct the much-needed build­ing.

Lloyds Ba­sic’s new struc­ture boasts three class­rooms, an of­fice area, sick­bay, san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties, a fully equipped kitchen, play­ground and fenc­ing.


The school is now is a bet­ter po­si­tion to serve Lloyds and other far-flung dis­tricts as the new struc­ture can ac­com­mo­date 60 pupils, po­ten­tially dou­bling the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

Speak­ing at the hand­ing-over ceremony for the new build­ing re­cently, prin­ci­pal Ele­sha Cuth­bert said the in­ter­ven­tion from FFP had been the sil­ver lin­ing she had dreamt of dur­ing the years of not hav­ing a build­ing of their own.

“The mir­a­cle of see­ing this build­ing gives me noth­ing but joy. This is such a timely dona­tion, as it comes at a time when com­mu­ni­ties and the rest of the world are try­ing to move our chil­dren in line with the 21st-cen­tury ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards,” stated Cuth­bert.

Cana­dian Donette Chin-Loy Chang, fi­nanced the con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­ity in mem­ory of her late hus­band G. Ray­mond Chang, who grew up in St Thomas. She said that this was one way she and her hus­band had wanted to as­sist de­vel­op­ment in Ja­maica.

“The build­ing of early-child­hood schools is one of sev­eral ways I con­tinue to stay con­nected and share Ray’s dream for Ja­maica. It’s about help­ing to build com­mu­ni­ties and in some way en­able a bet­ter life for the next gen­er­a­tion,” added ChinLoy Chang.

Speak­ing at the ceremony, FFP Ja­maica Chair­man An­drew Mah­food lauded the re­sults of the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween FFP Canada and Ja­maica.

“FFP and our donors recog­nise that ev­ery child de­serves to learn and de­velop in a com­fort­able, spa­cious and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment,” said Mah­food. Since 2009, FFP Ja­maica and Cana­dian donors have col­lab­o­rated to build 20 schools to res­cue in­fants from cramped class­room spa­ces and have seen hun­dreds of stu­dents ben­e­fit­ing.

Thirty Cana­dian vol­un­teers as­sisted with the con­struc­tion of the new struc­ture for Lloyds Ba­sic School.


It is all smiles from the stu­dents of Lloyds Ba­sic School in St Thomas as they share in a group pic­ture just mo­ments be­fore the rib­bon-cut­ting ceremony for the new struc­ture.

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