Jab­neh Peace Gar­den a per­fect spot for dis­pute res­o­lu­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - Shanna Kaye Mon­teith/ Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

ONE OF the best things one can do when filled with anx­i­ety and worry is to find a quiet place to read the Bible or devotional, to lis­ten to some en­cour­ag­ing mu­sic, or just to pray.

Now, stu­dents and teach­ers alike at the Jab­neh Chris­tian Academy in Grange Hill, West­more­land, will have the per­fect spot to do so.

With the help of team mem­bers from the San­dals, Beaches, and Grand Pineap­ple re­sorts in Ne­gril, the in­sti­tu­tion came out as the over­all parish win­ner of the Trees for Peace com­pe­ti­tion, which was launched by the Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Al­liance (VPA) in col­lab­o­ra­tion Peace and Love in So­ci­ety (PALS) and the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry.

The project, which was launched in March, en­cour­aged schools to des­ig­nate a space for a peace gar­den where they would plant trees and shrub­bery.

The gar­den would then West­more­land’s win­ning Peace Gar­den at Jab­neh Chris­tian Academy in Grange Hill.

be­come an area for dis­pute res­o­lu­tion, re­lax­ation, and re­flec­tion.

A beauty to be­hold with colour­ful plants, neatly placed benches, and boast­ing the word ‘Peace’ marked by stones at the en­trance, Jab­neh’s peace gar­den,

ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­pal, Dr Natasha Camp­bell, is ded­i­cated to and named af­ter one of the pas­tors who sup­ports the school, Kurt Ja­cob­son.

“Af­ter the gar­den was set up, Pas­tor Ja­cob­son vis­ited one day and when he sat in it, he felt so Some stu­dents of Jab­neh Chris­tian Academy along with some team mem­bers from San­dals, Beaches and Grand Pineap­ple Ne­gril help­ing to fix up the gar­den in its early stages.

much peace that he got some stu­dents to sit and read with him there,” she shared.

Camp­bell told Fam­ily & Re­li­gion that at the time, the good pas­tor was suf­fer­ing from a ter­mi­nal ill­ness and when he went back home af­ter his visit to the gar­den, he was told by doc­tors that his ill­ness had gone into re­mis­sion.

“Even in the midst of what he was go­ing through, he found

peace in our gar­den,” she said.

In spite of the fact that the Grange Hill com­mu­nity has been plagued by gun vi­o­lence in re­cent times, the school’s peace gar­den has man­aged to be a place of con­so­la­tion for many res­i­dents.

“I walked in the school­yard one morn­ing and I saw two per­sons stand­ing in the gar­den. I thought to my­self, ‘some­thing seems to be hap­pen­ing here’. I found out that day that the two in­di­vid­u­als who were stand­ing in the gar­den were ac­tu­ally there try­ing to re­solve a con­flict in their mar­riage. I was in awe,” Camp­bell ex­plained.

Camp­bell lauded her stu­dents and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity for main­tain­ing the gar­den and ex­pressed her undy­ing grat­i­tude to the San­dals Foun­da­tion for its in­put, which in­cluded the do­na­tion of var­i­ous plants and hav­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the land­scap­ing depart­ment at San­dals Ne­gril help­ing with the plant­ing and set-up of the space.

The prin­ci­pal also made it clear that all are wel­come to bask in the peace pro­vided by the area of restora­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to her: “Trees for Peace is a great ini­tia­tive that I would en­cour­age ev­ery­one to con­tinue push­ing. I am also very happy that peo­ple see our gar­den as a place that they can come and re­flect and re­solve is­sues. Jab­neh’s gates are never closed and I be­lieve with this ini­tia­tive, the im­pact will con­tinue to spread.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.