Staff and Children of the New Beginnings Transit Home now have a safer, greener and more habitable place to call home, due to recent technological retrofits and structural upgrades in the infrastructure of the residential institution.
A beneficiary of the Smart Facility Project, the New Beginnings Transit Home opened its doors to residents in January 2011.
The home is a safe haven for children between the ages of 0 – 18 years who are victims of child abuse, severe neglect and who are in need of care and protection.
The facility works closely with the National Foster Care and Adoption Services to ensure that children are returned to where they thrive best – in secure and loving families.
The implementation of the Smart Project at the Home is designed to integrate new technologies, improve communication and strengthen the structural and operational components of the facility, thus making it greener, disaster resilient and safer for occupants.
Rolled out in 2018 at a cost of US$100,000.00 and completed in October 2022, the upgrade was funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Health and Elderly Affairs.
New Beginnings Transit Home Manager Avice Inglis welcomed this venture and stated that the service provided to vulnerable children at the Home during disasters would be vastly improved. “Having these upgrades being done enables the Home to be more environmentally friendly and disaster resilient. Due to the recent upgrades and retrofits, we can now say that we are a smart facility,” noted Inglis.
She went on, “We got support to develop a contingency emergency plan and signage at the home, so therefore the children are now safer because of this smart upgrade. Saying we are smart means that we are safe and green.”
The Home was retrofitted with modern secure-proof doors, internet surveillance systems, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, low level switches or valve systems, roof and floor repairs, ramps at ground level, back-up power and safer electrical systems as well as a more reliable water supply.
Apart from the New Beginnings Transit Home, sixteen (16) other health facilities around the island were transformed into smart facilities, making them more resilient and energy efficient.
The Smart Facility Project was implemented in seven countries namely Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines at an estimated cost of £46.3million.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment