News from Grantees and Members- October 2009

     

                          AOC Occupational Therapy

Workshop for Children with Disabilities

 
Working with young children and adolescents over the years Association of Clubs (AOC) based in Westmoreland, has observed that some children have some form of disability. During their 2009 Summer Camp it was evident that Autism was also quite prevalent. AOC therefore sought the assistance of an Occupational Therapist who agreed to work with children and parents from the community for 2 weeks. 
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              UWI/EFJ Port Royal Biodiversity Centre 
The project currently being implemented by UWI Department of Life Sciences seeks to modify the existing maturation room into a Biodiversity Centre to present displays on mangroves and other coastal systems and their organism. This will serve not only as an educational facility for students of all ages and the general public but can be a potential tourist stop for visitors interested in exploring Jamaica’s coastal and marine species. Visitor numbers (which include schools and tourists) have increased steadily since late August 2009. The Centre was officially opened in October 2009.
 
         
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 Northern Caribbean University Watershed 
Reforestation of Swift River 
 
Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in partnership with the College of Agriculture and Science has been working to rejuvenate the Swift River Watershed, through work in Fruitfulvale, Portland with project funding from EFJ. This is an agro-forestry venture involving mainly breadfruits with significant input from farmers in the community.  
The launch of Phase 2 of the project began with the arrival of truck full of 600 breadfruit tree seedlings. The project now has over 45 acres of orchard already established and with the aim of producing many thousands of seedlings for additional EFJ funded watershed projects island wide. The government-based agency Rural Agricultural Development Agency has been providing additional technical support as well as assistance with engaging the farmers. 
Why Breadfruit? The breadfruit tree has a root diameter of up to 35ft. It is also a good shade for other crops and a good interceptor during heavy rainfall, thus reducing erosion. Breadfruit bears in three years and many farmers are quick to plant because it has a ready market and it is a robust tree. NCU and the Scientific Research Council are now aggressively seeking to promote its value added outputs -chips, flour, cakes, drinks, pharmaceuticals, paste, cellulose, fiber etc. 
        
Outreach-  NCU is also producing organic fertilizer for soil amelioration and is working with some of the Foundation’s other grantees such as Mocho Development Committee. Projects such as Hills United Development Organistion, Ewarton Watershed Farmers Cooperative Society , Jeffrey Town Farmers Association and Reckford Jamaica Agriculture Society Branch stand to benefit.