MONTEGO BAY, St James — Construction of the US$3.2 million Hope Health Clinic has taken a six-week break, as the Montego Bay- based charitable organisation, The Good Shepherd Foundation (GSF), seeks funding to complete the project.
The foundation, through its patron, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Kingston, Charles Dufour, the project builder Giuseppe Maffessanti and other board members are now involved in several fund raising activities, in an effort to complete the project by year-end.
Maffessanti, a well-known Italian businessman based in Montego Bay, is off on his annual vacation in his homeland where he will be actively seeking to raise funding. Maffessanti is the chief builder of the multi-million facility, while his company has provided the architectural designs free of cost.
The Good Shepherd Foundation board members and other persons connected with the foundation recently gathered at the site for prayers and a tour to get a firsthand view of the work that has so far been done. The foundation is supported purely on charity through donations and various fundraising efforts.
Board chairman, attorney-at-law Jeanne Robinson-Foster said initially, there was no money to commence construction, "but God had brought a miracle in providing an amount, which aided the commencement of the project."
"To many, it would have not been seen as something worthwhile to start with, but we knew that with God's help it could have brought us this far. With the help of many persons who have acted selflessly by working and delaying payments--even the workmen have contributed in their own way. Mr Maffessanti has been exemplary in so many ways," she explained.
Robinson -Foster stressed that during the break the GSF board members and all persons connected with the foundation would be embarking on a fundraising drive so that the building can be completed. She added that as part of the fund raising activities, a plaque will be named in the honour of donors who choose to sponsor a room.
Meanwhile, Maffessanti said approximately US$500,000 has so far been spent on the project. "We are basically on our knees now, so we need all the financial assistance we can get to complete the project," he stated.
Upon completion, the building will have an out-patient clinic, doctors' rooms, a pharmacy, living quarters for resident and visiting doctors, dentistry, a waiting area, a canteen, and an operating theatre to undertake minor procedures.
A laboratory and a rehabilitation centre for patients who may need ongoing therapy will also be included.
Patients using the facility will be required to pay a nominal fee.
The Good Shepherd Foundation was started in 1997 by Dufour, then bishop of Montego Bay, and has since provided assistance for thousands of persons in the western parts of the island.