The Rotary Club of Kingston has given the Cheshire Village for persons with disabilities a make-over by through fundraising efforts and contributions by twin-club, the Rotary Club of Naples North, Florida. The renovations cost over $3.5 million.
The 21-house village was built in the 1970s with donations by: Royal Air Forces Association Jamaica 580 Branch, the Freemasons of Jamaica, Seprod Limited, the Jamaica Producers Association Limited, Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited and Myers, Fletcher and Gordon.
Located a stone’s throw from the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston, the Cheshire Village was erected to accommodate persons with disabilities who wished to transition from the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre to a place of independent living.
“The objective of the major project was to provide residents of the Cheshire Village with improved functionality and independence within critical areas of their homes and neighbourhood, in alignment with the Jamaica Disabilities Act 2014,” said Karsten Johnson, current president of the Rotary Club of Kingston.
The president said that out of a series of town hall meetings with residents to determine their immediate needs, his club installed six solar street lights within the village; changed and raised the heights of toilets for easier access; installed support bars and railings along walls in the rest rooms; painted and tiled where needed and installed new, lower cupboards, sinks and faucets in 11 kitchens for better accessibility for those in wheelchairs.
The multi-phased project has seen the phase one completed in February with the installation of solar street lights. Funds raised from a pre-Valentine’s Day party, an annual Golf Tournament, and contribution from the Rotary Club of Naples, Florida, work on retrofitting of houses began in May and is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The project is aligned with four of the seven Areas of Focus in Rotary International: Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Maternal and Child Health and Economic and Community Development.
It is also in keeping with six of the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: Good Health and Well-Being; Clean Water and Sanitation; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Economies and Climate Action.
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