FOOD For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica recently handed over a new building it constructed for the Infant Department of Tower Hill Primary School in St James.
School’s administrators said they have, for years, been trying to have the old infrastructure replaced and finally had their prayers answered when FFP and donor Harriet Chapman of Atlanta, United States intervened and decided to construct a new building.
Principal Venessa Popkin-Addison, surrounded by happy students, was overcome with joy when the building was finally handed over recently.
“The hard work has finally paid off and our students can finally be in a more comfortable environment. We are truly blessed by the kindness of Mrs Harriet Chapman and Food For The Poor for our brand new infant building,” said Popkin-Addison in an interview immediately after the hand-over.
She said that students of the Infant Department were formerly housed in a cramped classroom but are now in a spacious environment. Three new classrooms have been constructed and suitably furnished. In addition, there is now an office, a sick bay, a fully equipped kitchen and sanitation facilities. Playground equipment were also provided and security fencing installed.
David Mair, executive director of FFP-Jamaica, hailed the continued support of the agency’s work across Jamaica by Chapman, who also funded the construction of the Hanover Education Institute in memory of her husband in 2015.
“Your contribution symbolises a genuine love for and belief in Jamaica’s children and this will never be forgotten,” Mair said.
He added that FFP Jamaica takes pride in focusing on education.
“Education is the most important tool to lift a nation out of poverty and create socio-economic development,” Mair said.
“Recognising this to be true, since our inception in 1982, Food For The Poor has been injecting significant support in the Jamaican education system. We have constructed schools and replaced pit latrines with flush toilet systems in 53 schools islandwide in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica National Foundation. Just last week, approximately 374 students from basic to tertiary level benefitted from back-to-school grants for the 2016/2017 school term,” Mair added.
Chapman, meanwhile, said she was spurred into action when she viewed how uncomfortable the students were in their old classroom.
“I was here at Tower Hill a year ago and I saw the little ones packed in one room in the school, a room that had been the library and computer room. When I came here today I just had to cry because it is such a difference, everything looks so refreshed and so new and it is such a privilege to be able to be part of this,” Chapman said.