Library for Glenhope Place of Safety

MINISTER OF Health, John Junor and Winston Bowen, director of Children Services on Wednesday broke ground for the construction of a library at the Glenhope Place of Safety, in Kingston. The library will be constructed at a cost of $US22,000 which was donated by New York-based charitable organisation, Children of Jamaica Outreach Limited (COJO).

President of (COJO), Gary Williams, handed over the cheque of $US12, 000 and three wheelchairs to the home. Last year, the organisation donated nine wheelchairs and $US10, 000 which was placed into a fixed deposit account towards the library building project.

In her address, Ambassador Marjorie Taylor said that she was pleased to be associated with the function, because the care of children can't be the sole responsibility of the government. She urged members of the public to become partners in caring for the children in places of safety. She said that although Glenhope's workers often go beyond the call of duty, they couldn't do it alone. Don't believe that help requires a lot of money,' she added.

'A group of women come here to comb the children's hair. We need men to talk cricket, people to read to them. We don't need only fund-raisers, but people to hug and touch, and smile to make the children feel whole. Take them to the beach, to shows, to church. We need to expose them to care.

Minister Junor highlighted the need for foster parents to come in and adopt the children in the places of safety, and expressed grave concern that often the homes seem to be holding areas for children who are before the courts. Mr. Junor also announced that Cabinet has approved a restructuring programme for children services.

Tiny tots from the Glenhope Nursery, dressed in jeans and white t-shirts for the occasion were orderly while some caught naps during the speeches. A choir from the Glenhope Place of Safety sang the 1999 Gospel Festival Song entry, 'There is hope'. Mrs Pauline Espeut-Brown, Superintendent said the COJO gesture was an investment in the future of Jamaica's children. Mr Williams said that COJO has embarked on a book and computer drive for Glenhope.



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