Fresh look for special needs school

Sunday, December 02, 2018

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The Spanish Town school dedicated to the development of children and adolescents with disabilities, formerly known as the 3-D Projects, now sports a fresh look, thanks to members of Phillippo Baptist Church whose ushers spent a day painting and debushing the compound.

Now called the Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica, the organisation came out of a merger of the 3-D Projects and the Rural Services for Children with Disabilities.

Coordinator of the Monk Street-based branch in the old capital, Dorothy Ramsay-Daniels, described the day's initiative as God's intervention.

“This is God's intervention, we are getting such great support from the Phillippo Baptist Church through its Ushers' Ministry that takes on this monumental task here today. We are so overwhelmed, grateful and thankful,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The facility is run on subventions from the ministries of education and labour, but is in need of more support as there are challenges carrying out its mission which is to provide health, social and educational services to adequately meet the needs of children with disabilities.

“We believe in training children and placing them in the regular society. We do a lot of public awareness programmes. Schools would call us for children with developmental delays, etc. We get a monthly subvention from the Ministry of Labour to help pay the bills and from the Ministry of Education for the community-based education programmes.

“We also get support from the Lions, Optimist and Rotary clubs of Spanish Town, but for some reason support has been dwindling,” Ramsay Daniels said.

The former 3-D Projects and Rural Services for Children with Disabilities have provided community-based rehabilitation and other intervention services for over 10,000 children with disabilities and their families since 1982. They merged operations in 2010, with a view to expanding programmes, obtaining more support for services, and generally becoming more efficient.

The name of the new joint entity was changed to Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica on June 27, 2011.

“We are now working in Manchester, St James and St Elizabeth as well as in Cayman with children in the programme who we train, sometimes from birth, and find jobs for them,” interim Managing Director Dr Stephane McFarlane said.

— Basil Walters

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