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The project "Save an Eye, Save the Jamaica Society for the Blind"; has received a grant of $3.3 million from the National Health Fund, NHF, to help generate income for the operations of the Jamaica Society for The Blind, JSB, while raising awareness of blindness.

The NHF grant, which is being administered by the UWI Centre for Disability Studies, has been used to purchase 75,000 armbands and 15,000 key ring/whistles, which are being offered for sale in 350 primary and secondary schools across the island.

According to Mr. Floyd Morris, of the UWI Centre for Disability Studies, it is anticipated that through this project, approximately $7 million will be raised, to help fund the programmes and activities of the Jamaica Society for the Blind.

The JSB is a non-government organization that was established to provide rehabilitation services for adult blind and visually impaired Jamaicans. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN there are over 24,000 blind and visually impaired persons in Jamaica.

Mr. Morris says, "The JSB is now facing serious financial difficulties as its donor sources both locally and internationally have significantly diminished. This is due to the classification of Jamaica as a middle-income country and the global economic crisis". The effort to raise funds for the JSB, which is being supported by the NHF, is expected to raise the significant amount needed to offset the worthwhile expenses of the JSB and support the annual allocation received from the Government.

"I am imploring parents to support the venture by providing their children and wards with additional cash to purchase these items", Mr. Morris appeals.

Among the schools that have already sold off their quota of armbands and key ring/whistles are Mona, St. Andrew and Immaculate Preparatory Schools. Glenmuir High in May Pen Clarendon and Immaculate High in St. Andrew also sold off their quota.

For further information contact:
Rosemarie Lee, Tel. 906-1106 or 535-0909
Shermaine Robotham, Tel. 322- 0809