Citing the many needs to support the operations of the SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, St Andrew, Deandra Brown, one of the home’s family facilitators, was more than grateful recently as she accepted a donation from JN Money, the only Jamaican remittance brand which operates internationally, towards the facility’s upkeep.
SOS Children’s Villages Jamaica, is a private, non-governmental social development organisation. It has been in operation for more than 50 years and houses approximately 50 children with the youngest being three years old, at its Stony Hill location.
“I love JN Money for their annual donation. Getting donations is very important to us because we are wholly funded by government subsidies. While some care-related expenses are subsidised by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, it is simply not enough,” she explained.
Miss Brown pointed out that the village can house up to 124 wards, but it currently houses much less because four facilities need remodelling and are out of use. Therefore, although the facility may be underpopulated, the non-functioning units make accommodations at the village a little cramped.
“The houses need complete refurbishing so we can’t take in those kids yet,” she pointed out. Funding for the remodelling of the four defunct houses would be appreciated, whether it might be tiling, countertops or refrigerators. I know that we also need a sofa set for one of the houses that are currently in use.”
The alternative care facility provides a loving home for children who are in need of care and protection from losing, or are at the risk of losing, parental care.
Sanya Wallace, assistant general manager at JN Money Services, a member of The Jamaica National Group which operates the JN Money brand, underscored that the needs at the home have kept the organisation connected to the SOS Children’s Village, which they have been supporting for approximately 10 years. Each Christmas, members of the JN Money team package a variety of items to include food, school supplies and cash to make Christmas brighter for the children and their caregivers, and to also help with alleviating some of the financial constraints.
“JN Money is very big on giving back to the community and so we have been donating to the SOS Children’s Village for several years. Our children are the ones who will take over from us and, it doesn’t matter where they are from, therefore, we have to ensure that they live a normal and as comfortable a life as possible so that they can achieve their best potential,” she said, as she invited other private sector partners to assist the SOS Children’s Villages with the resources it needs.
Solar water heaters and rainwater harvesting systems are also needed, and consistent help to feed its many energetic and quickly developing young residents.
“We need several huge donors, to be honest, to subsidise our grocery bill because that is one of the highest bills we have,” she said.
“JN Money donating to us every year helps us with anything whether it might be food, school fee, extra-curricular activities, so whatever it is that we can cover, we are very grateful for it,” Miss Brown said.