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Supreme Ventures Foundation signs MOU for fire safety in children homes

Supreme Ventures Limited | 2019-02-20 14:31:00

 To facilitate greater fire safety in children’s homes across the island, the Supreme Ventures Foundation has officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information. This MOU seeks to establish and fund a project to improve fire safety and security in these homes and provide added protection for the wards. The signing took place on Wednesday, February 13th at the York Park Fire Station.

Critical stakeholders include the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the office of the Children’s Advocate. This MOU comes in the wake of the recent fires in children’s home.

Statistics obtained from the Jamaica Fire Brigade show that over the last decade, 360 people have perished in fires across the country, 97 of which were children.

The project, the first of its kind in Jamaica seeks to protect and support children in state care by addressing a fundamental child welfare issue affecting this vulnerable group. Director of the Supreme Ventures Foundation, Heather Goldson notes that several audits and assessments were conducted with results showing a significant gap in the fire safety infrastructure in many of the homes. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the nation’s children are kept safe.

Minister of State in the Ministry of  Education, Youth and Information, the Hon. Floyd Green notes that “the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks the consolidation of a true partnership. The timing is right. This partnership will in fact aid the GOJ to better meet the needs of the children who are coming into State care on a daily basis.”

He adds “as we continue to strengthen our policies, steps were taken in late 2017.  We commissioned internal and external safety reviews and audits to assess the current facilities, including safety and security concerns, and made recommendations for improving standards to assess the safety needs of our institutions.”

CEO of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey says “the CPFSA is grateful for the partnership to further strengthen our fire safety standards  governing the care and protection of children in our child care facilities. This MOU symbolizes one of our key priorities of ensuring that our facilities are disaster proof and equipped with the necessary tools to preserve life.

We see this partnership as very timely and in keeping with our core values; I-CARE (Integrity, Commitment, Accountability, Respect, Empathy) as we work to ensure that every child is better off. We look forward to a successful implementation."

According to Mrs. Goldson, the project includes the implementation of a basic fire safety program as prescribed by the Jamaica Fire Brigade.  The program will span the installation of fire safety equipment as well as the installation of relevant signage and evacuation maps for those homes showing the widest gaps. It will also include fire safety education and training for the wards and key personnel such as house mothers.

The project will cover approximately thirty (30) homes under the terms of this MOU, which will span a two-year period up to early 2021.  In the initial phase, assessments of each home will be used identify the greatest needs and the specific solutions to be implemented as recommended by the Jamaica Fire Brigade. The SV Foundation has committed to working closely with the Ministry to ensure that the implementations are done in a timely manner and are committed to a further assessment of the project in 2021.

Posted By :Carlene L. Edwards

Company Name : Supreme Ventures Limited

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Company Address : Supreme Ventures Limited 4th Floor, Sagicor Centre 28-48 Barbados Avenue Kingston 5

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