The UWI Open Campus is responsible for implementing a project that will improve the lives of hundreds of children in the Caribbean. The project is part of a more than US$1.45 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for improving citizen safety and security in the region. In partnership with the Child Development Agency (CDA), The UWI Open Campus Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC), based in Mona, Jamaica, will establish a transitional living programme for children in State care.
The UWI will create a safe and well-equipped living space that can house 40 girls, for a transitional period leading up to their exit from State care at age 18. The programme will offer the young women job and life- skills training, as well as mentorship for independent living.
During the launch of the programme at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters, the Government of Jamaica’s then Youth and Culture Minister, the Hon. Lisa Hanna, spoke of the need for more transitional care facilities, to serve the 5,000 children in 50 homes across the island.
At the same time, she celebrated the fact that ongoing reforms of the state-care system in Jamaica had enabled marked improvements in academic achievement, giving former wards of the State the opportunity to attend universities such as The UWI. Investing in these women has a positive impact on the entire society. USAID’s data shows that, "An educated woman has a positive ripple effect on her health, family, community and society as a whole" (https://www.usaid.gov/). In other words, through UWI initiatives such as the Transitional Care Project, we all benefit.Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller at the official ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Caribbean’s first State-funded Transitional Living Programme for Children in State Care. Also in attendance, (former) Youth Minister, Lisa Hanna and US Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis G. Moreno.