Partners in the ongoing Resilient Schools Programme, Kivette Silvera (left), executive director, Food For the Poor; Mariko Kagoshima (second left), UNICEF country representative; and Yanique Forbes-Patrick (right), vice-president, communications and corporate affairs, Scotiabank, are photographed with Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams (third left) and Grade 6 student Teona Dietrich during the handover of handwashing stations to Port Henderson Primary School.
PORTMORE, Jamaica--Port Henderson Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine, is the first school to receive handwashing stations under the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Food for the Poor Resilient Schools Programme, for which Scotiabank has provided US $2.2 million in funding.
Implementation and logistics for the project are being led in consultation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to improve water, sanitisation and hygiene in 19 schools located in parishes with a high number of COVID-19 cases.
Speaking at the brief hand-over ceremony, Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president, corporate affairs and communications at Scotiabank, said the bank’s contribution forms part of its overall COVID-19 response efforts and is in line with its broader commitment to youth development and education.
“Scotiabank has always been a strong proponent of initiatives that support our children. Ensuring that our schools are equipped with facilities to help contain the spread of the coronavirus is a priority at this time and we are happy to be making a contribution to that end. We also want to thank all the teachers and administrators who have undertaken the important task of keeping our children safe,” Forbes-Patrick said.
She noted that since March 2020, the bank has contributed approximately $10 million toward educational assistance programmes in local schools.
UNICEF, which has been advocating globally for the safe return of students to schools, is responsible for coordinating the Resilient Schools Programme being implemented at a cost of approximately $16.7 million.
“Together we have learned a lot over the past year about COVID-19 and one key message has not changed – handwashing! This, along with other mechanisms to reduce physical contact and limit transmission, can help ensure the safe reopening of face-to-face schooling in Jamaica,” said Mariko Kagoshima, UNICEF country representative. ~ Jamaica Observer ~