Lauriston and Thompson Pen 4-H Hailed as Model Club

Story Highlights

  • The Lauriston and Thompson Pen (L&T) Community 4-H Club is being lauded as a model for transforming communities, through its training activities and creating opportunities for entrepreneurship.
  • The 20-year-old entity, which is the Jamaica 4-H Clubs’ largest and most active community group, staged its 10th Annual Stew Festival on Saturday (Nov. 4), its grandest event yet.
  • Mr. Christie, who is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for community leadership, said the club educates and mobilises young people in agriculture, home economics and leadership skills, and healthy lifestyle habits.

The Lauriston and Thompson Pen (L&T) Community 4-H Club is being lauded as a model for transforming communities, through its training activities and creating opportunities for entrepreneurship.

The 20-year-old entity, which is the Jamaica 4-H Clubs’ largest and most active community group, staged its 10th Annual Stew Festival on Saturday (Nov. 4), its grandest event yet.

The street-side festival, which this year featured 42 agency participants, attracted scores of residents from St. Catherine communities, who came out to benefit from information provided and to partake of stewed food offerings.

The fare included rabbit, duck, chicken, pork, eggs, and fruits such as guava, pineapple, June plum and cherry.

“The money that we make from Stew Festival goes back into training for the L&T Club,” said founder and Club Leader, Shian Christie.

“We train right around the year and whatever money we make goes right back into training and developing our young people; their minds, attitude and leadership qualities,” he noted.

Mr. Christie, who is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for community leadership, said the club educates and mobilises young people in agriculture, home economics and leadership skills, and healthy lifestyle habits.

Over the years, the L&T Club has grown in numbers and impact. Membership has blossomed from 12 persons to more than 100 registered members.

Meetings are held every Saturday at the Club House – a repurposed container donated by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) – which is situated on the grounds of the Holiness Temple Shiloh Apostolic Basic School in Lauriston, Spanish Town.

Head of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Ron Blake commended the leadership of the L&T Club for the work it has been doing in the community.

He pointed out that the staging of the annual stew festival is showcasing the creativity of the youth, creating opportunities for them to network with people in the microfinancial sector and a space for persons, who are doing well to serve as a model for entrepreneurship.

“When I see what Lauriston 4-H is doing in transforming Lauriston through the leadership of Shian Christie, it tells me that we can create structures like this across the country and we can go into some of the most challenging communities and we can transform them,” he pointed out.

Club President, Shemar Tulloch, spoke of the benefits in personal growth and achievement he has experienced since joining the organisation four years ago.

The 19-year-old Caribbean Maritime University student has won the title of ‘King’ of the Club for three consecutive years, the 4-H ‘Boy of the Year’ award at the national level, as well as a trip to the United States sponsored from Fly Jamaica for his work in the Club.

The young leader noted that the Club aims to “mould the minds of young people” by getting them involved in various activities to “keep them occupied from going down the wrong path.”

“What I want to see in this community is for young people to hold up their heads and achieve their goals, become whatever they want to be in life,” he said.

Jamrock One Media was the title sponsor for the stew festival and the entity’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Denise Montaque, expressed pride in her company’s alignment with the L&T Club and its role in the success of the event.

“They are giving back to the community and it’s a great opportunity to help them to do that,” she said.

Stew Festival 2017 also featured a community cook-off, cooking demonstrations and marching band displays.

Among the agencies supporting the community event were Government organisations including Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Fire Brigade, Road Safety Unit, National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Forestry Department, Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA), Child Protection and Family Services and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), as well as private sector companies and civic organisations.

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