Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jamaica Society for the Blind receives $3.3 million grant to raise awareness

From the Jamaica Observer:

The project 'Save an Eye, Save the Jamaica Society for the Blind' has received a grant of $3.3 million from the National Health Fund to help raise awareness about blindness and income for the organisation.

The NHF grant, which is being administered by the UWI Centre for Disability Studies, has been used to purchase 75,000 armbands and 15,000 key ring whistles, which are being offered for sale in 350 primary and secondary schools across the island.

Floyd Morris of the UWI Centre for Disability Studies said that the project should raise $7 million for the JSB. The money will offset the society's expenses and support the annual allocation received from the Government.

“I am imploring parents to support the venture by providing their children and wards with additional cash to purchase these items,” said Morris. “The JSB is now facing serious financial difficulties as its donor sources both locally and internationally have significantly diminished. This is due to the classification of Jamaica as a middle-income country and the global economic crisis.”

The JSB is a non-government organisation established to provide rehabilitation services for adult blind and visually impaired Jamaicans. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, there are more than 24,000 blind and visually impaired persons in Jamaica.