Youth in Jamaica
Jamaica is a country of extremes. On the northern coast—home to tourism—and in the suburbs of Kingston, wealthy Jamaicans live in first-rate housing, visit shopping centers featuring the best imported goods, and enjoy an elevated standard of living. Living in such suburbs as Cherry Gardens, Arcadia Gardens, and Forest Hills, the wealthy send their children to private schools and to universities abroad, and employ private security forces.
Yet not far from these wealthy enclaves a significant number of poor Jamaicans live in squalor, with poor housing, limited food supply, and inadequate access to clean water, quality health care or education. Kingston's poor congregate in the slum districts of Trench Town, Ferry, Jones Town, and Denham Town, where water supplies are often polluted and violent youth gangs clash with police for control of the streets. Jamaica's high inflation and dependence on imports—especially for food, gasoline, and clothing—has meant that the poor have had to spend a high amount of their relatively small incomes on the necessities of life.
In this two-week service trip, we will delve into the poorest sections of Jamaica to meet and learn from the people there. In partnership with Franciscan Ministries and Sister Grace, our focus will be working with children – both in the capital Kingston and in rural Jamaica. We will begin by assisting in a variety of settings in an around Kingston; Glen hope Nursery, which houses orphaned babies and toddlers, a primary school in Ferry, where we will offer basic lessons to kids ages 4-8, and working after school in a Girl’s Home for abandoned teenage girls. We will also partner with Fr. Rohan, S.J., who runs the youth outreach program from St. Anne’s Jesuit parish. For the last several days of our experience, we will transition to a rural experience in Braes Rivers, where we will spend time teaching in country schools, assisting in homework centers and doing basic manual labor on a “Food Security Farm” – where food is grown for the poor.
This is a great introductory trip for people who enjoy interacting with children and doing a variety of ministries, especially in the hot sun! Jamaica is also a very relaxing culture to explore, the island itself is beautiful and Jamaicans speak English!
For further information, contact Lu Firestone at x 2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.