From left to right: Social Worker, Joseph Lawrence; Senior Medical Officer of Health (Ag), Dale Babb; President of the Family Care Support Group, Sonia Browne; health Sister, Vera Layne; Secretary-Treasurer Family Care Support Group, Judy Archer; Medical Officer of Health (Ag), Tracie Carmichael; and Nurse Manager (Ag), Shirley Ann Brathwaite. (GP)

Several children from households across the island will be returning to the classroom with new tablets and laptops compliments of the Ministry of Health and Wellness. 

Senior Medical Officer of Health (ag), Dr. Dale Babb, made the presentation this afternoon at the  Ministry’s Vashti Inniss Empowerment Centre, Ladymeade Gardens, Jemmotts Lane.

She handed over the devices to representatives of the Family Care Support Group, who will be assisting with the distribution of the devices.

The Family C.A.R.E. Support Group (FCSG) is a registered non-governmental organization that has been instrumental in providing assistance to children and families affected by HIV since its establishment in 1998.

In this instance, the FCSG collaborated with staff of the HIV Programme including the Social Worker, and nursing staff of the Ladymeade Reference Unit, in identifying those children and families who would most benefit from this initiative.  

According to Dr. Babb, the initiative surfaced to mitigate programming challenges due to COVID-19.

“The pandemic has affected our regular programming activities so funds that we would have had in 2021 to use for community outreaches, we were not able to use for that purpose. I would have sought approval to utilize those funds to purchase devices for those children needing such, to support their school activities.

Approval was granted and we have managed to purchase 44 age-appropriate devices (tablets and laptops) for these children”. 

Accepting the devices on behalf of the Family Care Support Group was President, Sonia Browne and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Judy Archer. Miss Archer graciously thanked the Ministry of Health and Wellness for the timely donation.

“We at Family Care really appreciate this donation because we had numerous parents who were asking if they could get help, or if we knew of anybody who could help them with some of the devices for their children. Some who already had devices complained about challenges with certain devices. So we are very appreciative of these new tablets and laptops that we can distribute to those families that need them. Thanks goes out to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and all the other agencies who made this presentation today a reality.”

Distribution of the devices began on Thursday, February 17, 2021, immediately after the presentation and will be completed by early next week. 

Dr. Babb also thanked the staff of the Ladymeade Reference Unit who worked arduously to ensure the sourcing and presentation of the devices would be a reality.

“I want to thank Dr. Tracie Carmichael along with, Health Sister Vera Layne, our Social Worker Joseph Lawrence, and of course the Family Care Group. We would have all worked together to determine which families would be most suited for this assistance.”

Ministry of Health and Wellness

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