Mount Olivet Boys Return from France

Photo: Shelly-Ann Irving The five Mt. Olivet boys who returned to Jamaica on July 18 from their 10-day trip to France, look at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) display of Yohan Blake, one of several sportsmen and women on display, to celebrate the country’s 54th anniversary of independence, at the agency’s headquarters in Kingston. Their trip was made possible by Mr. Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation.

Story Highlights

  • The five boys from the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, are back in the island after their 10-day trip to France, courtesy of Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation, and his French business partner, Richard Mille.
  • Duty Officer at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, Oneil Reid, was the chaperone for the boys and he too was excited.
  • Mr. Newman also commended the YB Afraid Foundation for their involvement with the Home and their assistance over the years.

The five boys from the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, are back in the island after their 10-day trip to France, courtesy of Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation, and his French business partner, Richard Mille.

One of the boys had created a design, which was used by Mr. Mille on his new sports car.

Mitchell* who created the chosen design said they went to the Le Mans Classic car race track, where they saw his design on the car.

“It was pretty amazing. We weren’t able to see the car race though because of the time, but the experience was good,” he told JIS News.

“Words  cannot  really explain what Mr. Mille and the YB Afraid Foundation have done for me,” said another  boy,  while  the  youngest in the group said  he enjoyed watching the fireworks in Paris.

Yohan Blake, noted  world sprinter, left the island with the boys on July 6, but had  to  return  a few days before them, leaving them in the care of their Home chaperone and the YB Afraid team.  The boys returned home on July 18.

Mr.  Blake told JIS News that he was happy to travel with them and experience some of the things they mentioned.

“We went straight to unveil the Richard Mille car that the boy’s design was on, as soon as we arrived. It was very exciting for them and even for me. Richard had asked to see what the boy could do and he liked the design he made, so Richard decided to use it. They weren’t able to watch the races, but they got a chance for a driver to take them around the track,” he said.

Mr. Blake said he plans to do similar visits with wards from other Homes that the YB Afraid Foundation has adopted, as this could encourage the boys and girls in the other Homes to do well and stay focused.

“When you take five boys and show them the world, they go back and tell the others and they will want to behave and do well, so  they can get an opportunity to go as well,” he said.

Duty Officer at the Mount Olivet Boys’  Home, Oneil Reid, was the chaperone for the boys and he too was excited.

“I was offered the great opportunity to go with the boys on the trip to France. It was a great and warm experience, and I must say that for me it has opened my eyes and many doors. The architecture, the culture, the people…it was just warm and welcoming to us. I can say that from this experience the boys have seen a side of the world that they have never seen before,” he said.

One of the older boys said it was his best experience.  “We went to Futuroscope, the Eiffel Tower, the King’s Palace (Palace of Versailles), and we met a lot of people. I would like to go again,” he said.

Director of the Home, Patrick Newman, told JIS News he was happy for their safe return.

He said he is also thankful to the JIS for the exposure given to the Home and what is happening at Mount Olivet.  The Home was adopted by the JIS more than six years ago.

“I know that it was an experience they will never forget. I want to thank the JIS  for their coverage of their departure, because now other media houses have chipped in. I know that what the JIS has done has given the Home great exposure and this goes to show that there are still caring people,” he said.

Mr. Newman also commended the YB Afraid Foundation for their involvement with the Home and their assistance over the years.

The exposure has also brought other individuals and entities on board to donate to the Home. “As soon as the story went out, I got a call from Karen Fitz Ritson and she donated back to school items to the boys. This is what the exposure is doing for us. We are very grateful,” he told JIS News.

*Boy’s first name withheld

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