Sophia Drop-In Centre gets $30M upgrade
To ensure that children feel “safe, secured and comfortable”, the Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud on Tuesday commissioned an upgraded kitchen at the Sophia Drop-In Centre in Georgetown.
The $30 million upgrade, which features modern amenities, will benefit more than 100 children between the ages of six and 16 who are in the State’s care at the facility. Following the opening ceremony, the children and the Minister baked cookies using the new facilities.
Dr Persaud said the project is one of many that are being executed to benefit children. She explained that all homes and facilities that are used are being upgraded, including the Mahaica residential home for children living with disabilities.
“That is hitting to the core of what I think is important – that’s ensuring that children have a safe, secure and comfortable environment where they can live and where they can enjoy all the comforts…,” the Minister said.
The new kitchen has a modern stove and chic countertops as well as new equipment needed for meal preparation.
“I thought this would be a very good way of giving those children who are in State care an environment where the can bond, where they can enjoy a meal in a good condition and where those persons who prepare their meals with love and care could have a safe environment where they can prepare meals in comfort,” Dr Persaud said.
The head cook, Sarah Rodgers, told reporters that this upgrade was much needed. She explained that she has been cooking for the children for just over 15 years and during this time, the state of the kitchen became somewhat deplorable.
She is now very excited to use the new equipment to prepare meals for the children.
“The conditions we were working under wasn’t too workable so we are very grateful for this upgrade that we are getting…this is very good for us.
“We were trying to do our best with the condition that we were working with because we have to cook for the children; so we tried our best to work with the situation.
“It will be better now because its better facilities, better working space and everything,” she said.