San­dals Foun­da­ti­on, CHASE fi­nan­ce USD 96-m West­mo­re­land school pro­ject

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

JAMAICA - A ma­ni­fe­sta­ti­on of San­dals Foun­da­ti­on’s per­pe­tu­al, ro­bust sup­port for ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­ti­on was de­mon­stra­ted in a joint ven­tu­re with the CHASE Fund to fi­nan­ce the con­struc­ti­on of the sta­te-of-the-art West End In­fant School in Ne­gril, West­mo­re­land at a cost of $96 mil­li­on.

On Thurs­day, ground was bro­ken at the con­struc­ti­on si­te in the tou­rism re­sort to­wn. Upon com­ple­ti­on the new eight-class­room buil­ding will re­pla­ce the cur­rent over­crow­ded struc­tu­re lo­ca­ted on the pe­ri­p­hery. “This eight-class­room fa­ci­li­ty will be a ga­me-chan­ger. This is a true in­vest­ment for the pe­o­p­le of West End com­mu­ni­ty, the mo­thers and fa­thers; but most im­por­tant­ly tho­se who at­tend the school”, Pre­si­dent of the San­dals Foun­da­ti­on Adam Ste­wart re­mar­ked du­ring the ground­brea­king ce­re­mo­ny. Me­an­w­hi­le, CHASE Fund’s Chief Exe­cu­ti­ve Of­fi­cer Bil­ly He­a­ven, who high­ligh­ted the im­por­tan­ce of in­ves­ting in ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­ti­on, ex­pres­sed his en­thu­si­asm at part­nering with the San­dals Foun­da­ti­on. Upon com­ple­ti­on, the struc­tu­re will, apart from the eight class­rooms, boast a di­ning area, staff and stu­dent ba­throoms, a sick bay, ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve of­fi­ce, kit­chen and a re­me­di­al room to ser­ve a stu­dent po­pu­la­ti­on of 150. San­dals Foun­da­ti­on’s Di­rec­tor of Pro­grams Hei­di Clar­ke, who out­lined that in the last se­ven ye­ars the San­dals Foun­da­ti­on has con­struc­ted two ear­ly child­hood in­sti­tu­ti­ons: the Cul­lo­den Ba­sic School in Whi­te­hou­se with the Se­vil­le Gol­den pre-school in St Ann; un­der­sco­red the Foun­da­ti­on’s com­mit­ment to sup­por­ting edu­ca­ti­o­nal pro­jects in Jamaica and across the Ca­rib­bean. She al­so re­ve­a­led that the pro­ject was hat­ched af­ter the Foun­da­ti­on iden­ti­fied the gre­at need.

Me­an­w­hi­le, a stu­dy by the MOE re­ve­a­led the broa­der sco­pe of need in the com­mu­ni­ty for which a San­dals Foun­da­ti­on-led mul­ti-sec­tor col­la­bo­ra­ti­on would pro­ve to be the ca­ta­lyst to ini­ti­a­te chan­ge in the pro­vi­si­on of qua­li­ty de­vel­op­men­tal sup­port for the child­ren of the com­mu­ni­ty. Ro­bert Mil­ler, se­ni­or ad­vi­sor to Mi­nis­ter of Edu­ca­ti­on, Youth and In­for­ma­ti­on, Se­na­tor Ru­el Reid, lau­ded the col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve ef­forts of San­dals Foun­da­ti­on and CHASE Fund.

In the me­an­ti­me, West­mo­re­land Wes­tern Mem­ber of Par­li­a­ment Dr Wy­ke­ham McNeill had high prai­se for the San­dals Foun­da­ti­on and the CHASE Fund for moun­ting the ma­jor ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­ti­o­nal pro­ject in his con­sti­tu­en­cy, and char­ged other ho­te­liers to fol­low suit. Pri­or to the pro­ject, San­dals Foun­da­ti­on wor­ked with the staff at West End Ba­sic School to as­sist their ef­forts to im­pro­ve the edu­ca­ti­o­nal en­vi­ron­ment of the exis­ting struc­tu­re but re­a­li­zed the gre­at need to cre­a­te mo­re ade­qua­te spa­ce to meet the de­vel­op­ment needs of an ever-in­cre­a­sing po­pu­la­ti­on of child­ren.

(Jamaica ob­ser­ver)

The NFA has main­tai­ned that the­re are en­ough ri­ce sup­plies. (Pho­to: ja­pan­ti­mes)

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