Rita Mar­ley Foun­da­tion up­lift­ing the youth

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MARY’S CHILD was es­tab­lished 24 years ago. It’s man­date, to pro­vide a spiritual en­vi­ron­ment, proper res­i­den­tial care and trans­form the lives of vul­ner­a­ble girls 13 to18 years old, who are vic­tims of rape, in­cest and car­nal abuse. How­ever, be­tween 2008 and 2009 a 10-year-old and four 11-year-old girls en­tered the in­sti­tu­tion. Mary’s Child now houses 19 young girls, most of them ado­les­cent moth­ers who orig­i­nate from var­i­ous parishes in Ja­maica. The Rita Mar­ley Foun­da­tion (Ja­maica) works closely with Mary’s Child Home, pro­vid­ing life-en­hanc­ing skills train­ing for res­i­dents.

On Satur­day, Septem­ber 17, the foun­da­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dr Mar­shall Tul­loch Reid (en­docri­nol­o­gist) and Jean Tul­loch Reid (health ed­u­ca­tor/coun­sel­lor/fam­ily life spe­cial­ist) pre­sented a Health­care workshop at the fa­cil­ity. It fo­cused on self-es­teem, ed­u­ca­tion and par­ent­ing.


Fa­cil­i­ta­tor Jean Tul­loch Reid urged them to have pos­i­tive self-es­teem. “This will as­sist with achiev­ing your goals. Good self-es­teem gives hope and makes us re­silient,” she said. The young ladies shared their ca­reer goals and were ad­vised by the Rita Mar­ley Foun­da­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tors on the dis­ci­plines re­quired for mak­ing them a re­al­ity. Res­i­dents also learnt that through par­ent­ing they have be­come part­ners with God in cre­ation, a re­spon­si­bil­ity that lasts a lifetime. “No child is an ac­ci­dent,” Ms Tul­loch Reid ex­pressed. “Although some ex­pe­ri­ences are meant to harm you, God turns them around. Choose friends who bring out the best in you and en­cour­age you,” she added.


It’s a new school term and a new set of five-year-old stu­dents have joined the Rita Mar­ley Foun­da­tion Pen Pal Let­ter Writ­ing Ex­change Pro­gramme.

Stu­dents at the Holy Trin­ity Ba­sic School in Kingston wrote lovely in­tro­duc­tory mes­sages on post cards for pen friends at the Konkonuru Methodist Ba­sic School in Konkonuru, Ghana West Africa.

On Wednes­day, Septem­ber 21, World Peace Day, the Rita Mar­ley Foun­da­tion will ex­pand the Cul­tural Sto­ry­telling Pro­gramme with the in­clu­sion of the Curlin John­son Ba­sic School at Moun­tain View.

Ac­claimed Sto­ry­teller, Amina Black­wood Meeks, will ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain 50 pupils through Ja­maican and African folk­lore.


Rita Mar­ley

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