Published:Thursday 2:03 PM
Sandrea Long-White is the Projects Manager at Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica (CBRJ), which is an agency providing services and support for children and adolescents with disabilities.
The organisation operates with a low budget and is unable to employ sufficient staff with the needed professional skills and, therefore, depends on the support of volunteers to fill the gaps.
Projects manager shares remarks on JICA’s impact on the CBRJ:
CBRJ benefitted from the placement of two Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteers, Iori Higashi and Ayumi Hayashi in our Early Childhood Education and Therapeutic Centre in Albion, Manchester. They not only provided skill support, but also contributed to the growth of the programme in the centre and within the organisation. They also blended into the CBRJ family, participating in all activities including fundraising, public awareness, and social activities.
Ayumi, a volunteer in Occupational Therapy, provided value added services which improved the credibility of the programme as there was now a professional associated to the centre. This saw to an increase in children being referred to the programme and an increase in requests for children to be registered in the programme. She also passed on her skills to the staff through training and practical demonstrations, which staff continue to apply in their work with the children.
Iori, on the other hand, assigned as an information technology specialist volunteer, focused on the organisation’s social media needs. The website which he established, continues to bring more visibility to CBRJ. The client database, which was established allows for easier access to information on the organisation. Parent-training materials were transferred from hard copies to digital files and are being used in training activities for both local and regional trainings. Plans to increase the social media presence, for fundraising activities and to expand services to the community were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community Rehabilitation Jamaica is looking forward to continued partnership with the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.