Kingston, February 15, 2008 – The over 60 students enrolled at the Family Counseling Basic School in Kingston, can today enjoy more space, proper ventilation and better security, following their recent relocation and the construction of new facilities by Food for the Poor (FFP) in partnership with Chistos Ministries based in the United States.
The project was completed at a cost of close to J $2-million.
The charity organization converted four of its standard housing units to construct a 36ft x 24ft structure for the classroom space including a sick bay and a kitchen equipped with a gas stove, wash sink, cupboard and a refrigerator.
“For the past three years, FFP has been working with the Christos Ministries to provide ongoing funding for teacher’s salary and other school supplies for students,” said Senior Projects Officer at Food for the Poor, Clive Spencer, during the dedication ceremony. “Due to improper lighting, lack of space and security issues, the donors felt the need to relocate and since that time FFP has been working relentlessly to find a new location and get the land cleared. Today is the fruition of this project and FFP is proud to be involved and hope to continue the partnership to create a better learning environment for the future of this country,” he added.
A 24ft x 18ft sanitation block and office space was also constructed at the school, which is now located on the grounds of the Cockburn Garden’s Primary and Junior High School. The sanitation facility includes four toilets, three wash basins and a urinal. Additional installation includes water intake lines and external drainage pipes connected to the newly constructed absorption pit.
Principal of the Family Counseling Basic School, Lillian Brown, believes that the new location and the new buildings are all apart of God’s divine plan.
“Some years ago, I prayed earnestly to God for help because the previous school had cracks in the walls, improper ventilation, no play area and it was extremely close to the streets which was hazardous for the children,” she said. “Today is proof that God answered my prayer by sending Food for the Poor and Christos Ministries to our rescue.”
In addition to the new location and the two new buildings, the school was also given the name: Monica McKenzie Family Counseling Basic School. This was done in honour of founder and past president of Christos Ministries, Monica McKenzie, who died last year.
“Christos Ministries is a Christian based organization in the United States that was founded eight years ago and is committed to assisting children. It was our founder’s dream to see the students of the Family Counseling Basic School relocated and placed in a more suitable environment and though she did not live to see it, we know she would have been proud to see the fulfillment of this project. Special thanks to Food for the Poor who completed a seemingly impossible and difficult task,” said Thora Levy, President of Christos Ministries.
Food for the Poor also plans to partner with the National Housing Trust to complete phase two of the project which will include providing proper fencing, a play area and a drinking fountain.