Flankers Resource Centre Providing a Ray of Hope in St. James

Photo: Marlon E. Tingling Members of the Flankers Marching Band.

Story Highlights

  • Like a beacon at the top of a mountain, the Flankers Resource Centre in St. James continues to shine a ray of hope for residents of the inner-city community it serves, in their search for a better life.
  • Well over 10,000 persons reside in Flankers, which sits on the periphery of downtown Montego Bay and literally adjacent to the Sangster International Airport.
  • “I feel that the Flankers Resource Centre has been creating a positive environment and providing the citizens with the (tools) needed for their empowerment,” Mrs. Munroe Green adds

Like a beacon at the top of a mountain, the Flankers Resource Centre in St. James continues to shine a ray of hope for residents of the inner-city community it serves, in their search for a better life.

Formerly the Flankers Peace and Justice Centre, the non-profit facility, which was established in 2002, has withstood the test of time to blossom into one of Jamaica’s most recognized social institutions.

It remains central to key stakeholder engagements aimed at enhancing the economic, educational and social development of Flankers as well as elevating self-esteem and pride across the community.

Well over 10,000 persons reside in Flankers, which sits on the periphery of downtown Montego Bay and literally adjacent to the Sangster International Airport.

Demographic data from the Social Development Commission indicate that approximately 60 per cent of the residents are under age 30, which places greater demand on social services.

However, the Flankers Resource Centre has been successfully bridging that gap through the implementation of programmes aimed at improving parenting and life skills, literacy and creating an overall “feel good vibe” for the citizens, some of whom say they have had the misfortune of  being told that they live at the “wrong address.”

The centre has facilitated training programmes conducted by the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), resulting in a number of residents being certified as mediators.

 

Additionally, community leaders and even citizens from outside the area volunteer to supervise and participate in a homework assistance programme, adult education night classes (remedial and CXC), computer classes, a skills training programme, a parent education programme, job search assistance, a welfare assistance programme, and an intervention programme for youth deemed at-risk.

Other activities embarked on include: the formation of a marching band; youth and senior citizens clubs; a cultural folk group; a domino club; youth crime watch initiative; and the Flankers Performing and Creative Arts Group, among other initiatives.

Centre Coordinator, Joan Munroe Green, welcomes the level of interventions and engagements that have been facilitated.

She tells JIS News that the Centre has been making a marked difference in improving the quality of life for the citizens over the years, while creating opportunities, especially for the youth.

“I feel that the Flankers Resource Centre has been creating a positive environment and providing the citizens with the (tools) needed for their empowerment,” Mrs. Munroe Green adds

Following its established 15 years ago by the DRF with financial support from the then Canadian International Development Agency (now Global Affairs Canada), residents of the community, headed by founding Programmes Coordinator, the late Marilyn Nash, volunteered to assist in staging numerous of accredited training programmes, including the much talked about mediation programme.

Fast forward to 2017, Mrs. Munroe Green says the Centre, which began as a place where mediation was done, has evolved into a Resource Centre which is open to everyone resident requiring its wide ranging services.

JIS Social