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Digicel Foundation, Mustard Seed build centres of excellence for the disabled

Wednesday, April 02, 2014    

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THE Digicel Foundation has partnered with Mustard Seed Communities to enhance the welfare and quality of life of persons with disabilities in Jamaica.

Last Wednesday, the foundation officially opened a multi-functional centre, dubbed Care Plus Centre of Excellence, at the Jacob's Ladder community in Moneague St Ann. This facility, is expected to expand the scope of skills training courses currently being done with the residents of Mustard Seed.

"The vision of Digicel Foundation augurs well for the lives of persons living in the special needs communities," said executive director of Mustard Seed Communities, Darcy Tulloch-Williams.

The centre, she said, will bring out excellence in the lives of these individuals who are affected by varying physical and developmental challenges.

"We are extremely grateful for this partnership as it will allow us to move beyond offering simply room and board, and giving them industry. This will undoubtedly build their self-esteem and enable them to become more educated," Tulloch-Williams said.

Jacob's Ladder community is currently the only facility of its kind in Jamaica, catering to the needs of 70 adults with special needs. The facility, valued at $17 million, should enhance the capacity of Mustard Seed to care for residents by augmenting the skills training curriculum in the areas of culinary skills, art and craft, information technology and occupational physiotherapy. Additionally, the centre will provide a facility to host awareness forums and workshops for families in the surrounding areas that require experience and training in dealing with persons who are

differently abled.

Chief executive officer of the Digicel Foundation, Samantha Chantrelle, meanwhile, reiterated the foundation's commitment to the special needs sector in Jamaica.

"The work of the Mustard Seed Communities reflects the conviction of the Digicel Foundation that the opportunities for those in our society that are differently abled should not be limited due to lack of resources or adequate training for their caregivers. So we are pleased to partner with them for the building of this facility and will remain committed through our centres of excellence programme to provide the highest quality resources that will enable our special needs community to thrive," she said.

The Care Plus Centre is a part of the Digicel Foundation's larger centres of excellence programme, geared at increasing the capacity of special needs schools in Jamaica. As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, the foundation will be opening 10 such centres this year.

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