THE Supreme Ventures Group on Monday matched donations already made to the Walker’s Place of Safety, in the amount of $10 million, to assist with rebuilding the institution after it was destroyed by fire in January.
Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) assistant vice-president, group corporate communication Simone Clarke-Cooper, made the cheque handover to state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green.
“We’re proud to stand with every single Jamaican who has given to this cause. Usually in April, we do an annual Easter event for children in State care. This year we thought about the fact that the funds we usually allocate for that Easter treat could be put towards the Walker’s rebuild.
“We, therefore, did our Easter Egg Hunt on a smaller scale, so that we could still spread some cheer to children of other homes, and help Walker’s as well,” Clarke-Cooper is quoted as saying in a release.
She continued: “We don’t want this to be a one-time thing where we donate this money and then walk away. Being at the location was a surreal and moving experience. The need is great. We have made it clear to the minister and to Walker’s that we’re committed to this project. We want to be there along the journey, involving our staff by putting in the work and the sweat where we can, making sure that we are there at the end when the children have their new home.”
For his part, the minister expressed his gratitude to SVL, noting that with a tally of now over $20 million in cash donations, there is still more to be raised based on what will be needed to complete the rebuilding of the home. He noted that he should have an estimate of the total costs for the rebuilding of Walker’s Place of Safety in two weeks, and will announce the figure at that time.
Two children perished in the fire at Walker’s Place of Safety, while 34 others were displaced. The displaced children are being temporarily housed at three homes in the Corporate Area.
In April, SVL said it pulled together 100 children from these homes for an Easter treat at family entertainment centre, Coco Jam, on East King’s House Road in Kingston.