Jamaica Aids Support for Life Gets New Building for Clinic

More Space and Privacy for HIV/AIDS Infected and Affected Clientele

Kingston, January 29, 2008 – The over 200 infected and affected HIV/AIDS clients registered at the Jamaica Aids Support for Life (JASL), will be among the primary beneficiaries of an expanded clinic for testing, counseling and storage, following the construction of a new double unit at its Kingston offices recently.

This was made possible through another joint venture housing development project between Jamaica’s leading charity organization, Food for the Poor (FFP) and the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring.

Food for the Poor contributed close to J $500, 000 toward the completion a 24’ x 18’ three-room facility inclusive of electrical installations and accompanying fixtures for the clinic.

“The idea of constructing a double unit house to expand the clinic at JASL was brought to our (FFP’s) attention by the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring who felt that the need existed and that a number of persons would benefit, explained Housing Director, Lorenzo Stanton. “Once the need exist, FFP will assist and so when we approached the Head Office in Florida for assistance, within a short period the project was approved,” he added.

Another J $90,000 was donated by the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring to provide 25 sheets of ply board for sarking and to purchase tiles for the floor of the newly expanded clinic.

According to the Club’s President, Trevor Richards, Kiwanis International is about making changes and offering service to ‘one child, one community at a time’ through meaningful projects from which the greatest majority will benefit. He said that the question of HIV/AIDS has always been one of the focus areas of the Club which led to the selection of JASL as one of those institutions that cater to a significant segment of this area of concern.

He added that, “the need existed for an expansion to their clinic area and we felt that Food for the Poor would be the best suited organization with which we should partner to ensure the implementation and completion of such a project.”

The JASL also made significant contributions to the project by donating J $36, 000 to provide paint for the interior of the building and to install grill work for the two doors and the four windows.

“JASL offers services to HIV/AIDS infected and affected individuals from the baby stage up to 70 years old. Previously, counseling and examinations would be done in one area which left little or no room for privacy and any kind of storage would also be done in this area,” stated Caregiver and Nurse at the facility, Tonya Clarke. “Thanks to Food for the Poor and the Kiwanis Club, this new building will provide more space and privacy for clients, separated rooms for counseling, examinations and storage and the provision of an additional waiting area.

While FFP’s assigned contactors spearheaded the construction of the project, a team of volunteers from all three institutions provided additional labour.

One such was Order Entry Clerk at Food for the Poor, Collis Brown. “I felt pleased that I was able to volunteer my time and energy into assisting with the comfort and security of the recipients especially to the employees,” she said.

JSAL, like several NGO’s Islandwide, receive consistent supplies of food, medical and pharmaceutical supplies from Food for the Poor.

Additionally, the previously established clinic at the facility was funded and constructed by Food for the Poor in 2005.