NCVO: Improving the lives of at-risk children

Operated by the National Children’s Voluntary Organisation — which is often just called the NCVO — the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home provides a secure, nurturing and friendly environment for children who are placed there for care and protection.

“It’s an absolutely vital service and we recognised certain upgrades were needed to bring the home up to an acceptable standard and enhance the positive effects for the children,” says NCVO representative Paola Robinson, noting that the home can accommodate up to nine children with two emergency placements available for children found to be in imminent danger in the family home.

“These renovations will work to enhance the quality of life for the children who live in the home, upgrade the building and all facilities and strengthen a sense of pride within the residents,” she says.

In early 2021, the NCVO applied for and was awarded a CI$50,000 Dart Grant to create a sensory room, a visiting room and a new wellness and fitness area.

"Thanks to this incredible grant provided by Dart, we can complete several renovation projects that will help the children feel more comfortable as they settle into a new home environment and teach them how to be resilient in times of adversity,” Robinson says.

A purpose-built meeting space will allow residents to meet and bond with their visiting family members in private. A repaired and enhanced outdoor deck and shed with a gym will provide safe access to curative methods for healing that are found in nature, getting children outside into fresh air, sunshine and green spaces. The addition of a sensory room designed specifically to help individuals with autism or who have unresolved trauma will help them feel calm, supported and focused.

“Each child has been through a different experience and adding these additional spaces will help them work through unresolved trauma, whether it’s through sensory therapy, physical fitness or spending time outdoors,” Robinson says.

In addition to the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home, the NCVO also runs the Jack & Jill Nursery, which provides subsidised daycare for infants; Miss Nadine’s Pre-School, which provides subsidised education for young children; and New To You thrift shop.

The NCVO was chosen by Dart staff from the three top-scoring Dart Grants applicants to receive the CI$50,000 grant. Another eight organisations were awarded a CI$25,000 Dart Grant each:

Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association

Cayman Islands Crisis Centre

Central Caribbean Marine Institute

East End Primary School PTA

Inclusion Cayman;

Literacy Is For Everyone

National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

YMCA Cayman.

To learn more about supporting the NCVO through donations of time or funds, visit the NCVO Cayman Islands Facebook page.

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This article appears in print in the June 2021 edition of Camana Bay Times, written by Hannah Reid.

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