Jamaican News

Adolescent Mothers to Benefit from Donation of Baby and School Supplies

Adolescent mothers from the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) are to benefit from a large donation of baby and school supplies from the Joyously Unveiling the Master’s Plan (J.U.M.P.) Ministries Global Church through its Project Life initiative.

The items include baby carriers, diapers, strollers, clothes, baby food packets, baby hygiene products, and toys, as well as stationery, calculators and school bags.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who attended the presentation ceremony at the Foundation’s Trafalgar Road address in St. Andrew on May 9, thanked the church leaders for the gift.

She said the donation will complement the Government’s support to the adolescent mothers to enable them to achieve their highest potential.

“We enable young girls to continue their education in our centres until they are able to rejoin the school system. In fulfilling our mandate of providing hope and encouragement, we pay particular attention to the welfare needs of our mothers and their babies,” she pointed out.

Noting that the incidence of pregnancy among adolescent girls has been trending down in recent years, Minister Grange said sustained efforts are needed in order to ensure that the numbers continue to fall.

“In Jamaica, the rate has been falling from a high of 129 per 1,000 girls to 60 per 1,000 girls. This is good; the fall has been dramatic, but at 60 per 1,000 girls, the birth rate (among this demographic) is still high,” she noted.

Executive Director of WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, said the generous contribution will go a far way in assisting the young women.

“There are some girls who will be delivering their babies… so from this donation, we will be able to assist those girls who are in need of those kinds of items. We have 18 sites across the island. Every site will be able to benefit from the donation. This is going to be very helpful for us,” she said.

The United States-based J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church is a non-denominational, multimedia ministry led by Bishop Dr. Durone Hepburn and his wife, Phuong Hepburn.

Dr. Hepburn, in handing over the supplies, said the ministry would like to continue its association with the WCJF.

“This organisation is powerful. They have young ladies from ages 11 to 17 that have a chance to go back to school and continue their education. More centres like this need to be established, where (these young mothers) can have a place that they can come to continue to learn and be encouraged to learn. Whatever we can do monetarily, or just putting supplies together, we want to be part of the growth of this (centre),” he said.

The Church recently hosted the Global Food Festival in Jamaica, which promotes cultural diversity through showcasing international cuisine from 10 countries, through its Project Life initiative.

Other festivals are slated to be held in The Bahamas on July 29; New York, October 28; and in Haiti on January 27, 2018.

Article by: Rochelle Williams
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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