UDC Partners With Early Stimulation Centre For Labour Day 2016
Over 120 students with disabilities, along with staff of the Stimulation Plus Child Development Centre are reaping the benefits of a comprehensive clean-up of the school grounds led by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) on Labour Day (May 23, 2016).
In harmony with the national theme for Labour Day - “For Health Sake … Keep it Clean,” UDC Staff members joined forces with parents and staff of the centre, and citizens from the East Kingston community to clear overgrown vegetation and debris from the compound. The team also applied sand to the play area to make it more comfortable for students.
Expressing gratitude for the UDC’s intervention, Antonica Gunter Gayle, Director of the Early Stimulation Programme and Stimulation Plus Child Development Centre remarked that “It’s not just a facelift, but they’re really giving us what we need, because a safe and clean environment is important for all of us, but more so to our children with learning needs.”
The centre, which operates under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is an extension of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities and caters to three to six year-olds with varying types of developmental disabilities. “Here is where our children come into a teaching/learning environment and receive the necessary intervention for their development,” Mrs. Gunter Gayle noted, explaining that the children are taught on a one to one basis, which is not necessarily achievable in the regular basic school or infant school setting.
By virtue of its location in the Downtown Kingston/Port Royal Development Area, the institution was a viable selection for the project as this is one of the areas in which the UDC operates. However, Miss Lorna Clarke, Director of Corporate Relations and Marketing, UDC stated that the centre was also chosen because, “Development speaks to the physical as well as to the human resources. In this particular instance we were looking at the softer side of things.”
“Now having cleared the rear of the property, the opportunity now exists for them to look at some type of income generating activity. We have already promised that we will secure some banana suckers that can be replanted in that area,” Miss Clarke said.
The UDC’s relationship with the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), began several years ago during the active days of the Hellshire Summer Fun Programme. Each year, the UDC would take children from the different homes to Fort Clarence Beach for a day of fun and the ESP’s Hanover Street location was one of the homes which benefitted. The Labour Day project marked a renewal of the relationship, and the UDC intends to continue to work with the institution in addressing some of its many existing needs.
Over 48 years of existence, the UDC has invested in making development happen in the lives of people through various initiatives, such as school building programmes, development of communities, donations to social causes and mobilization of its staff in special events and charities.