Funds to tackle child abuse granted

Professionals from the hedge fund
industry have granted nearly quarter of a million dollars to tackle child abuse
in Cayman.

Hedge Funds Care Cayman, has
donated $230,000 to six organisations to assist with efforts to address child
abuse in the Cayman Islands.

The six organisations awarded a
share in the  grant money are the Cayman
Islands Crisis Centre; the Children and Youth Services (CAYS) Foundation; the
Department of Counselling Services; the Health Services Authority; the Ministry
of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture; and the National
Council of Voluntary Organisations.

Geoff Ruddick, co-chair of the
Hedge Funds Care Cayman’s Grant Committee said: “Due to the overwhelming
support HFCC continues to receive from the community, we are in a privileged
position to be able to provide financial assistance to local organisations
whose focus is on improving the lives of children here in Cayman.

“The organisations and their
dedicated employees and volunteers should be applauded for their efforts and we
are delighted to be able to support their meaningful initiatives.”

The funds were raised last November
at the chapter’s annual fundraising dinner, after which the Grant Committee met
with each organisations to discuss how the funds would be utilised. 

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre’s
Children’s Programme and Aftercare Programme was awarded CI$35,000.  The Children’s Programme targets school-aged
children who have been abused or have witnessed abuse and who accompany their
mothers to the Crisis Centre’s Emergency Shelter Programme.

The programme provides group and
individual intervention including child abuse prevention and educational
support services for children while they are at the shelter, and aftercare to
former residents.

The hedge fund group gave $50,000
to the CAYS Foundation’s Family Reunification Programme.

The CAYS Foundation is a
government-owned company that manages and operates the Bonaventure Boys Home
and Frances Bodden Girls’ Home, which serves children, aged 10 to 17 who are at
risk and in need of care and protection. 
The Family Reunification Programme is designed to strengthen vulnerable
families during the transitional period when a child is being returned home
from the residential programme and provide support to the family once the child
has been discharged from care.

The Department of Counselling
Services was granted $20,000 for its Family Skills Programme – an eight-week
family and parenting skills programme designed to build supportive families who
are capable of raising socially, mentally and physically healthy children,  thereby preventing later problems in
life. 

The programme is also being
implemented in Cayman Brac. The $20,000 grant includes a $5,000 donation from
Cayman Airways for airfares to support the programme.

The Health Services Authority was
awarded $50,000 to expand its Child Abuse and Treatment Programme to provide a
part-time child psychologist on Grand Cayman to work with abused and/or neglected
children.

Hedge Fund Cares Cayman also
granted $30,000 to the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth,
Sports and Culture’s school-based study and intervention for children at risk
of child abuse, known as the Better Futures Programme. This programme provides young
children with a comprehensive school-based child abuse prevention education and
the grant money will support school-based child sexual abuse services and training
in trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy.

The National Council of Voluntary
Organisation’s Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home was awarded $50,000. The
home houses up to 10 children ranging in age from birth to 16 years and who
have been placed in care by the Department of Children and Family Services and
the Courts because of maltreatment. 

It is the only residential facility
on the island for younger children.  Placement
may be short or long-term, according to needs.

The Grant Committee members,
responsible for managing the selection process were directors Peter Cockhill,
Lauren Nelson and Patrick Agemian, co-chairs Geoff Ruddick and Greg Bennett,
and members Jennifer Collins, David Bree and Jude Scott.

“Within the first three years of
life, children who live in homes where violence and maltreatment are
commonplace are at risk of becoming traumatised. When this occurs, it creates
life-long difficulties for the individual and has a profound impact on society,”
said Mr. Bennett.  

“The cost of policing,
imprisonment, healthcare and drug addiction lead to lost opportunities that
eventuate from young people and adults who have spent the early years of their
lives subject to violence, neglect, maltreatment and abuse,” he added.

The announcement of the grant
awards coincides with the announcement of Hedge Funds Care Cayman’s sixth
annual ‘Open Your Heart to the Children Benefit’ which takes place on Saturday,
6 November. The venue for the event is yet to be confirmed.

Hedge Funds Care Cayman is a
not-for-profit organisation comprised of professionals in the hedge fund
industry who are committed to raising funds for projects designed to treat the
victims of child abuse and neglect.

For more information about
purchasing tickets for the benefit in October, sponsoring an advertisement in the
event programme or donating auction items, contact Claire Lloyd-Hickey at [email protected].

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