FFP partners with UNICEF to donate 1,100 educational kits to children
Helping small children keep learning at home in communities previously quarantined due to COVID-19
St. Mary, Jamaica – July 24, 2020: Food For The Poor Jamaica (FFP-J) has partnered with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Early Childhood Commission and other stakeholders to package and distribute 1,100 educational kits for young children who are affected by COVID-19.
The Department of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of the West Indies and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) are among the other partners.
The educational kits contain play and learn materials, including books, crayons, colouring books, toys and basic information for young children on COVID-19. They were designed to benefit children under age six who have had to stay home due to the closure of schools in households without access to online learning.
The latest distribution exercise took place on July 7 in the communities of Annotto Bay and Dover, St. Mary, where the FFP-J Fishing and Agricultural team, alongside members from MLSS, distributed close to 300 kits to families with children in need. This was the second distribution exercise for the parish.
The remaining kits were distributed to previously quarantined areas in Corn Piece and Portland Cottage, Clarendon; Linstead, St. Catherine and Seven Miles, Bull Bay in St. Andrew.
National Insurance Inspector at the MLSS in St. Mary, Nicole Hamilton, who helped distribute educational kits in Annotto Bay and Dover, believes the initiative was a good one. “The persons who received the kits were really in need and the parents and students were incredibly grateful,” she said. “Every little bit helps, and especially right now as we face a pandemic these kits will really go a long way. And if the need arises for us to partner with FFP again, I am all for it.”
“We understand that this is a hard time for everyone, even the children. We wanted to help and keep them engaged during this crisis, especially those who have not been able to access online learning platforms since the closing of schools, and
these educational kits come in handy,” said FFP-J Director and Disaster Preparedness Chairman Nakhle Hado.
He continued, “We also want to thank all the stakeholders who have played their part in making this initiative possible. UNICEF has been longstanding partners with FFP, and the distribution of educational kits, which specifically commenced since the onset of COVID-19, is an extension of that partnership.”
“In these unusual and uncertain times, UNICEF is happy to be able to provide support for our youngest children to be constructively engaged at home,” said Rebecca Tortello, UNICEF’s Education Specialist. “Play is a critical part of healthy child development and it takes on an even more crucial role in emergencies.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.