Girls Home Gets Kitchen & School Supplies (Kingston)
The Musgrave Girls
Home has been presented with kitchen and school supplies including
four computers, a laser jet printer, a refrigerator and deep freeze
as well as stationery supplies from Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO).
Founder and Chairman of COJO, Gary Williams made the donation on Thursday
(Oct. 9) at the institution in Kingston. Minister of Education, Youth
and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson who spoke at the handing over ceremony,
said that the presentation was an indication that despite the recent
problems associated with the countrys childcare services there
were organisations that inspire hope.
COJO, which was founded in 1994, derives its name from the slave fighter
Cudjoe. It is a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged children
in the greater New York area and Jamaica through sponsorship from
organisations such as, SuperClubs Resorts, Tommy Hilfiger, American
Airlines and British Airways among others. Officially recognised by
the Jamaican Government, COJO has been noted for its humanitarian
work and assistance to needy children. COJO has made donations to
several childcare facilities in the island among them, Alpha Boys
Home, and the Glenhope Nursery for physically challenged children.
In August 2003, Mr. Williams was honoured at the Jamaican Independence
Ball held in New York. He received the Consul Generals award
for his charitable work in the Jamaican community, in New York and
The Education Minister stated that the work of COJO was a signal,
indicating that there were Jamaicans who still saw the Island as home
and who were willing to help their fellowmen. She applauded the efforts
of COJO, calling it a homemaker rated among the best.
Turning to the children at the home, Mrs. Henry-Wilson encouraged
them to make the best of the opportunities presented to them. She
urged them to emulate COJOs founder by becoming citizens with
positive contributions to make. She commended the persons who managed
the home for the work they had carried out. Whenever I come
to this home I marvel at the levels of improvement that continuously
take place here
we cant discount the work of the leadership
of this home in making sure that the young ladies who are here have
the best that is possible, she commented.
The home has recently been fitted with a kitchen, bathroom, washroom
and walkway at a cost of over $5 million. The Musgrave Girls
Home is one of 13 Government-operated facilities and was founded in
the late 1970s. It is home to about 45 girls aged 10 to 18 who
are wards of the state. A four-year skills training programme
in sewing is offered at the institution for girls who are not attending
school. Some are also involved in the Human Employment and Resource
Superintendent of the home, Janet Davidson told JIS News that about
80 per cent of the girls were enrolled in regular schools across the
Corporate Area. The Superintendent said one of the challenges facing
the facility was finding homes for some girls who, upon reaching 18
years, have no known relatives or could not return to their homes.
However, the Child Development Agency has plans for the construction
of a halfway house to stem this problem. The Child Development Agency
has replaced the Childrens Services Division formerly under
the Ministry of Health.
She said that the institution was home to many girls who had been
abused, abandoned or exposed to danger. She pointed out that the process
began with the courts, which decided where the children should be
placed for care. The Superintendent, who has been with the home for
11 years, noted that even though the Government assisted the home
substantially, there were always additional needs that should be met.
Some kind citizens such as the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston,
Sunset Optimist Club, Big Sisters of Jamaica, George and Branday Limited
met these needs, she said.
The Musgrave Girls home has been a refuge to many girls who have gone
on to take their places in society. A lot of them has fallen
through the cracks but we do have success stories, the Superintendent
In his remarks, Mr. Williams said his organisation was pleased to
have been able to make the donation. Our mission is to help
. so that they have the opportunity to be great citizens
of tomorrow, he stated.
He thanked Air Jamaica and Trans Continental for assisting to ship