Thu | Feb 2, 2023

SOS Children’s Village grateful for timely donations

- JN Money invites private-sector partners to help

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 12:53 AM
Sanya Wallace, (left) Assistant General Manager at JN Money Services Limited, recently presented a cheque of $100,000 to Deandra Brown, Family Facilitator at SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.
Sanya Wallace, (left) Assistant General Manager at JN Money Services Limited, recently presented a cheque of $100,000 to Deandra Brown, Family Facilitator at SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.

It was a very grateful Deandra Brown, one of the family facilitators at the SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, St Andrew, who accepted the latest donation of a cheque for $100,000 from global remittance brand JN Money towards the facility’s upkeep.

“I love JN Money for their annual donation. Getting donations is very important to us because we are wholly funded by government subsidies. While some care-related expenses are subsidised by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, it is simply not enough,” she said.

“JN Money donating to us every year helps us with anything whether - food, school fee, extracurricular activities. So whatever it is that we can cover, we are very grateful for it,” Brown said.

Outlining its pressing needs, Brown says that while the village can house up to 124 wards, it currently houses much fewer because four facilities that desperately need remodelling are currently out of use. She shared that although the facility is underpopulated, the non-functioning units make accommodations at the village a little cramped for the residents.

“The houses need complete refurbishing, so we can’t take in those kids yet,” she said, adding that funding for the remodelling of the four defunct houses would be appreciated.

The repairs include tiling, replacing counter tops, and provision of appliances like refrigerators, and a sofa set for one of the houses currently in use.

The alternative-care facility provides a loving home for children who are in need of care and protection or are at risk of losing parental care.

“We need several huge donors, to be honest, to subsidise our grocery bill because that is one of the highest bills we have,” she said.

Beyond its operational needs, Brown said the village also requires assistance to enhance security at the property.

Among the equipment it needs are motion-sensor floodlights and solar light bulbs to decrease blind spots across the village grounds. She said that a security camera system is also needed to assist with surveillance but that the cost to outfit the compound with cameras is a hindrance.

Solar water heaters and rainwater harvesting systems are also needed.

Sanya Wallace, assistant general manager at JNMoney Services, a member of The Jamaica National Group, which operates the JN Money brand, underscored that the needs at the home have kept the organisation connected to the SOS Children’s Village, which they have been supporting for approximately 10 years.

Each Christmas, members of the JN Money team package a variety of items including food, school supplies, and cash to make the holidays brighter for the children and their caregivers. The initiative also helps to alleviate some of the financial constraints.

“JN Money is very big on giving back to the community, and so we have been donating to the SOS Children’s Village for several years. Our children are the ones who will take over from us, and it doesn’t matter where they are from. Therefore, we have to ensure that they live as normal and as comfortable a life as possible so that they can achieve their best potential,” she said.

She invited other private-sector partners to assist the SOS Children’s Villages with the resources it needs.

SOS Children’s Villages Jamaica is a private, non-governmental social development organisation that has been in operation for more than 50 years and houses approximately 50 children, with the youngest being three years old, at its Stony Hill location.