To the res­cue

Claren­don groups part­ner to get bet­ter re­sults

Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL XPRESS - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com Shanique Sa­muels Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

OLD HAR­BOUR, St Cather­ine: AST FRI­DAY’S stag­ing of the Old Har­bour De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee’s Cas­sava and Seafood Fes­ti­val and Expo might not have brought out the crowd, but there was no short­age of tal­ent.

Among them was the youth in­volved in the Mighty Gully project, funded by the United States Agency For In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID) Comet II Com­mu­nity Em­pow­er­ment and Trans­for­ma­tion Project through the HEART Trust/NTA.

Prince My­ers, a pa­pier-mâché teacher in the project, said he was happy to part­ner with the Mighty Gully crew, a fam­ily owned wood­carv­ing busi­ness lo­cated close to Mar­lie Mount in St Cather­ine.

“Two other groups linked with Mighty Gully re­cently through USAID, par­tic­i­pated in a project which com­prised about 40-50 per­sons,” he told Ru­ral Xpress.

My­ers said the youth en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence so much, they are now un­happy that the pro­gramme will be over in an­other few days.

“It (project) kept them off the streets and we (teach­ers) were able to bond with them. My

Lwish is that some­how it will con­tinue and they can learn more and start mak­ing a liv­ing from it,” he said.

Wy­att Gor­don, one of the stu­dents who ben­e­fited from the pro­gramme, is call­ing for more in­put from the Gov­ern­ment and his con­stituency rep­re­sen­ta­tive for South West St Cather­ine, Ever­ald Warm­ing­ton.

“We want the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for our con­stituency to come check on us, see what we are do­ing. What is hap­pen­ing here is im­pact­ing un­em­ployed youth, peo­ple on the streets come and learn and we build a bond with them. This is one ef­fec­tive av­enue that can help in the fight against crime,” he said.

SOURC­ING TOOLS

Gor­don said he wants the Gov­ern­ment to fa­cil­i­tate them by help­ing to source the nec­es­sary tools.

“When we have to im­port raw ma­te­ri­als, if we could get them duty-free, that would be great. We are not look­ing for any hand­outs, we just want a fight­ing chance to make this busi­ness grow,” is the heart­felt plea com­ing from him.

Gor­don also dream of see­ing a body be­ing es­tab­lished from the craft in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to him, just as the Ru­ral Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity has been es­tab­lished to as­sist farm­ers with tech­ni­cal help and ad­vice, it would be great to see their busi­ness hav­ing that kind of as­sis­tance.

My­ers said it breaks his heart that the pro­gramme will be end­ing soon, and his wish is that a place can be found to con­tinue what was started. Prince My­ers (left) and Wy­att Gor­don are hop­ing for an­other chance to im­pact the youth in the com­mu­nity. EF­FORTVILLE, Claren­don: THE EF­FORTVILLE Po­lice Youth Club and the Ro­mans 12 Bi­ble Stud­ies and Outreach Min­istries have es­tab­lished a part­ner­ship in an ef­fort to ex­tend their reach in sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties to pos­i­tively in­flu­ence at-risk youth in Claren­don.

The Ef­fortville com­mu­nity has been la­belled a trou­bled area where in­tense vi­o­lent flare-ups oc­cur from time to time, and as a re­sult, both groups, mainly com­prised of young peo­ple, de­cided to chart the course.

Founder and di­rec­tor of the Ro­mans 12 Bi­ble Stud­ies and prayer min­istry, Leighton Pow­ell, said the group he leads seeks to get in­volved in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties by do­ing prac­ti­cal outreach ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Mem­bers of the Ef­fortville Po­lice Youth Club de­cided to visit churches within the com­mu­nity and reached out to the R12 min­istry, which has its ori­gin in the Full Truth Church min­istry, so we de­cided to come to­gether and started by vis­it­ing the Ef­fortville Full Truth Church of God in Claren­don,” said Pow­ell.

Mem­bers of the Ef­fortville PYC and the R12 min­istry at­tended the Full Truth Church of God in Ef­fortville on Sun­day where they wor­shipped as they sought guid­ance to carry out their man­date.

“The en­vi­ron­ment was lively and we were happy to see young peo­ple who wouldn’t nor­mally visit church, come out and wor­ship with us. They were re­ally in­volved in the ser­vice and we look for­ward to see­ing them even more as we try to build safer com­mu­ni­ties through our outreach ac­tiv­i­ties,” Pow­ell told Ru­ral Xpress af­ter the ser­vice.

“The church ser­vice couldn’t have been at a more op­por­tune time, with the re­cent flare-up of gang vi­o­lence in the com­mu­nity. We want the young peo­ple both in and out of the church to get in­volved in mean­ing­ful com­mu­nity build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that will keep them away from get­ting caught up in gangs and other so­cial ills that they see around them ev­ery day,” said the young evan­ge­list, Ke­mar Dawkins (left) and Leighton Pow­ell.

who de­liv­ered a soul-stir­ring ser­mon from 2 Ti­mothy 3.

Pres­i­dent of the Ef­fortville Po­lice Youth Club, Ke­mar Dawkins, said part­ner­ing with R12 was a great move, as the group also does char­ity work in the com­mu­nity and in other ar­eas when­ever they can. The im­me­di­ate fo­cus of both groups is to com­plete the project they started with Doris Josephs, an 80-year-old woman who lives in a sec­tion of Ef­fortville known as Buz­zrock. She lives in less-than-de­sir­able con­di­tions and is badly in need of a de­cent liv­ing space.

“We do our nor­mal church vis­its on a monthly ba­sis, when­ever we can, within the Ef­fortville com­mu­nity. We’re try­ing our best to en­sure our pres­ence is felt and our ac­tions im­pact lives, so we are start­ing by vis­it­ing the churches to get them in­volved, be­cause we need ad­vice and guid­ance from the older peo­ple as we have to put God first in ev­ery­thing,” said Dawkins.

Per­sons will­ing to part­ner with the group or vol­un­teer in outreach ac­tiv­i­ties can con­tact Leighton Pow­ell at 864-9711 or leighton­pow­ell24 @ya­hoo.com.

PHO­TOS BE CE­CELIA CAMP­BELL LIV­INGSTON

Mighty Gully ex­hibits.

PHOTO BY SHANIQUE SA­MUELS

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