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.
Campus Ministry is partnering with Mustard Seed Communities in Jamaica at Gift of Hope. Gift of Hope opened in 2012, and serves a broad range of residents with disabilities, and provides a more rural environment from the urban homes located in and around Kingston. Mustard Seed Communities care for children who are disabled, forgotten, abandoned, and marginalized. This experience will expose you to the reality of poverty in Jamaica and is deeply grounded in spirituality.
Every day brings an opportunity to rise early and spend time with the children whether it is to help them or to simply be in their presence. Throughout your experience, you will build community within the team and with the staff and children of Mustard Seed Communities. Each day is filled with time to reflect, share, and pray. Our team will have a work project that may include light construction, painting, farming, or landscaping. You will also get the opportunity to experience the culture and enjoy a “day out” in the local community.
Applications can be downloaded here. They are due on Wednesday, October 12, 2016.
For further information, contact Alice Zicari at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-888-2488.