Child Survival and Development
Early Childhood Interventions (0-8 Years)
In keeping with the national focus, this theme seeks to fill some important voids in the sector as well as enhance the programmes, which currently exist. The Foundation has provided support for training of professionals in the field and enrichment programmes to benefit the children with specific reference to areas such as enhancement of facilities, education, nutrition, and play. The focus was also placed on early stimulation activities and training of parents and caregivers paying particular attention to early stimulation and engagement of children whether at home or school. Furthermore recognizing the need, the Foundation had also included in its purview provisions for long-term programs for the early detection of special learning needs and disabilities for example dyslexia, sight, and hearing.
Partnership with Dudley Grant Memorial Trust (
The EFJ has continued to support the Early Childhood Commissionâ€™s National plan for the â€œa comprehensive delivery of early childhood programmes and servicesâ€ in a more strategic way through the partnership with
Three (3) additional projects to Bernadette Prep School, Higgins Land Basic School, and Jamaica Baptist Union are successfully supporting the Early Childhood Education thrust with enhancement and enrichment of in excess of 90 additional Early Childhood Institutions and significantly more children benefiting from an improved school environment.
Children with Special Needs and Disabilities
The EFJ continues to be the leading donor to projects and programmes targeted to children with disabilities. The Foundationâ€™s goal in this regard is to address issues arising from inadequate facilities and insufficient knowledge as well as the general integration of children living with disabilities. As such, support has focused on early detection and establishing or enhancing development programmes and therapies for the children. The Foundation has provided funding to non-governmental organizations working with children with disabilities, and schools who have specifically targeted these children towards becoming more inclusive not only with regard to the suitable facilities and equipment but also programmes.
The Foundation remains a strong partner with Rural Services for Children with Disabilities (RSCD) and 3D Projects in their continuous efforts to assist, treat and empower children living with developmental disabilities islandwide and to educate their parents on the appropriate measures of intervention.
Through projects approved 3D has
- Acquired a building to house a 0-18 child development center for children with disabilities in St. Catherine with a specific focus on the 0-8 age group. The center will provide access to an early childhood development programme for children with disabilities and children â€˜at riskâ€™ with developmental disabilities.
Through projects approved RSCD has:
- Provided ongoing center based and home based support to 234 children living with disabilities from rural and urban areas in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Hanover, St. James, Westmoreland, Trelawny through the Community Rehabilitation Programme.
- Trained and recruited 8 Community Based Rehabilitation Workers who are currently providing home therapy treatment to children living with developmental disabilities in rural communities. CRWS conducted an average of 177 visits per quarter over 2 years.
- Provided assessment and therapy and intervention equipment to two centers in St. James and St. Elizabeth which both serve children with disabilities from the surrounding parishes.
- Trained over 100 parents of children with disabilities in order to appropriately cater for their needs.
Of note is the current thrust by 3D projects and Rural Services for Children with Disabilities along with their partner organization Clarendon Group for the Disabled to merge into one entity â€“ The Community Based Rehabilitation Agency. With support from EFJ, this is an important initiative in the NGO and disability sector, as it would encourage pooling of resources and improved opportunities for resource leveraging as one body as well as reduce impacts from duplication of effort.
Jamaica Association for the Deaf has also successfully implemented a Hearing Awareness and Assessment project to improve the quality of life of hearing-impaired children (0-8 years) in the parishes of St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Clarendon and Kingston, and St. Andrew. JAD has screened a total of 16 children in the 0-2 age group and 3,836 children in the 3-8 age group from 26 Infant, Basic and Primary schools. Arrangements were made for all children who failed screenings to be provided with referrals and follow up. The capacity of the organization was also enhanced as JAD has set up a database to store medical information on their clients. Other essential testing equipment was also acquired allowing JAD to provide improved services to the children being tested as well as beyond the life of the project.