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Access Financial gifts cash to Danny Williams School for the Deaf


Minister of Education and Youth, Hon Fayval Williams (left) join the principal of Danny Williams School for the Deaf Heidi-Ann Mitchell-Dillon (centre) and students as they sign ‘Thank you’ upon receiving a donation of $100,000 from Access Financial Services chief executive officer Hugh Campbel (right)l. The money will go towards purchasing much needed tools for the Papine-based school in St. Andrew, which caters to fifty students who have varying degrees of hearing loss.

Minister of Education and Youth, Hon Fayval Williams (left) join the principal of Danny Williams School for the Deaf Heidi-Ann Mitchell-Dillon (centre) and students as they sign ‘Thank you’ upon receiving a donation of $100,000 from Access Financial Services chief executive officer Hugh Campbel (right)l. The money will go towards purchasing much needed tools for the Papine-based school in St. Andrew, which caters to fifty students who have varying degrees of hearing loss.



Mircofinance company Access Financial Services (AFS) joined the Ministry of Education and Youth’s national observance of Read Across Jamaica Day on Tuesday at Danny Williams School for the Deaf where the company made a donation of $100,000.


AFS Chief Executive Officer Hugh Campbell presented the cheque to the school’s Principal Heidi-Ann Mitchell-Dillon, then engaged a group of students in a riveting story aided by an expert sign language interpreter who teaches at the school.

Mitchell-Dillon said the money will go towards providing much-needed technology tools for the institution.


“The children are visual learners so we use a lot of pictures and images. Currently we don’t have a photocopy machine, and it’s a struggle. We also need a new projector. So, this donation has come at the right time.


“It will go a far way in helping us to better serve our students. We are so very happy that Access Financial decided to not just come and read to the students today, but to go the extra mile and leave a gift that will have a lasting impact,” said Mitchell-Dillon.

The Papine-based institution caters to the 50 enrolled students, some of whom have varying degrees of hearing loss.


“We have students across the spectrum. Some are completely deaf and others can hear, but they may have parents or siblings who are deaf so the school provides the support they need to better navigate both worlds,” added Mitchell-Dillon.


She said the students also benefit from the support of nine deaf culture facilitators, often referred to as teacher aides. They work alongside the 12 teachers on staff who are all sign language interpreters.


In handing over the cheque, the AFS CEO said he was inspired by the work being done by Mitchell-Dillon and the staff.


“The children we saw today were so engaged, well-behaved, and just wonderful. It is so obvious that they are in a great environment, and I want to applaud Mrs Mitchel-Dillon and the team for that. We consider it as our privilege to assist them in this noble effort,” said Campbell.


The AFS team also shared space with Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams who read to the students as well.


Williams applauded the microfinance company and called for more businesses to give support to schools and help to drive some broader education goals.


“We are now executing a massive programme to transform Jamaica’s education sector, which is a process that involves many different stakeholders. There is a role for private sector entities to play — whether it is to provide support at the school level such as the kind of assistance that Access Financial is giving or to come on board for broader, long-term partnerships for education transformation.


“So, there are many options for the business community, and we are open to creating public-private partnerships that can drive the kind of meaningful change we all want to see in education for the good of our country,” said Williams.



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