The Nathan Ebanks Foundation (The NEF) was founded by Christine Staple-Ebanks and Robert Ebanks after their son, Nathan, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2005. Their vision informed the NEF’s mission: To transform the social and educational landscape of Jamaica. Since our founding, we have not stopped our efforts to promote inclusion and supply children, families and caregivers with long-overdue support. A lot of what we do is of qualitative value, but our quantitative results are important as well. We have:
- Created three training institutes
- Held eight annual Special Education Conferences with an estimated 1000 participants
- Established the 1st International Inclusive Education Conference in Jamaica that drew 200 attendees
- Organized 100+ parenting forums delivering awareness training to more than 5000
- Coordinated 40+ school visits providing onsite training and technical assistance to more than 1000 educators
- Provided input to inform on policy and practice for six strategic committees or executive boards, including: The National Disability Advisory Board, Stakeholders Consultation Groups including the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Ministry of Education and the Child Development Agency
In addition to the day-to-day programs and events initiated by the NEF, we have a number of on-going, longer-term projects that make us very proud.
Our ten-year plan
There is so much that we want to achieve, so many fundamental changes to advocate and so many children and families to support. For us, the next ten years is about focusing on where we can add the most value and touch the most lives.
For the first five years (2016-2021), we plan to focus on five key strategic areas aligned with the current needs of children and families, as well as the nation-wide Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan:
- Organisational development
- Strengthening our advocacy support programmes
- Public education and awareness
- Training and capacity development
- Monitoring and evaluation
To accomplish this, in the near-term, we plan to generate much-needed funding by focusing on donations, fundraising, grants, corporate sponsorship, membership fees and program offerings. Our longer-term strategy includes raising money not only to support the direct services we provide, but also to put in place the staff, technology, systems, assessments and training needed to ensure we construct a sustainable and efficient fundraising infrastructure.
For the latter half of the operating period (2021 to 2026), it is our aim to set up a Model Research and Developmental Centre and an Inclusive Early Childhood Institution (The All Villages Matter campaign). These will provide a benchmark against which care throughout Jamaica (and the Caribbean region) can be measured, conduct essential research, and provide therapy services to children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities.