- Canaan Heights is poised to evolve into a model community, as the residents and members of the Development Committee and Benevolent Society, headed by President, Albert Bailey, are on a mission to rebuild and nurture their neighbourhood.
- This, they aim to achieve through the implementation of several social development programmes and initiatives, being spearheaded by the 13 year old Benevolent Society, which are yielding significant benefits for them.
- Notable among these engagements are academic opportunities being provided for persons of all age groups.
Canaan Heights is poised to evolve into a model community, as the residents and members of the Development Committee and Benevolent Society, headed by President, Albert Bailey, are on a mission to rebuild and nurture their neighbourhood.
This, they aim to achieve through the implementation of several social development programmes and initiatives, being spearheaded by the 13 year old Benevolent Society, which are yielding significant benefits for them.
Notable among these engagements are academic opportunities being provided for persons of all age groups.
On an ongoing basis the Society, in collaboration with the Police Youth Club, engages residents in remedial and homework classes as well as Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) sessions at the community centre, which was recently refurbished by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).
These classes have yielded excellent passes in Mathematics, English, Human and Social Biology, Religious Education, and Social Studies, Mr. Bailey shares.
In addition, through engagements with CSJP, several persons have received Level II training in carpentry, electrical installation, welding, cosmetology, and food and beverage through the HEART Trust/NTA.
Mr. Bailey says a similar programme involving the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is currently underway to provide training for more residents, who will also benefit from the inclusion of an agricultural skills component.
He tells JIS News that the idea to include agriculture skills training stems from the community’s outstanding performance in a JSIF 2015 summer camp, where residents attending designed and built a greenhouse.
“The agricultural project was conceptualised with the intension to reduce unemployment among young people in Canaan Heights. We have submitted a proposal to JSIF outlining our plans to develop the project so that it can benefit the wider community,” he says; adding that proposals to source grant funding for the project have also been submitted.
The naming of each street is also a major exercise that has helped in the community transformation process.
Community development, Mr. Bailey reasons, involves sharing the residents’ vision and mission with corporate entities, religious groups, and government and non-government organizations, which can transform these into reality, through partnership.
He encourages other Benevolent Societies to seek help by also submitting proposals for community projects, noting that volunteerism and organization as key components for development and nation building.
Mr. Bailey says he is encouraged that Crime Prevention Committee, Police Youth Club, and CSJP share the community’s vision for development, pointing out that they have made invaluable contributions to the transformation of Canaan Heights.
“I want Canaan Heights to be a community that is second to none…one which people will always have to admire and come to us for help in terms of all the good things we have done, and be inspired to do the same,” he declares.
Meanwhile, CSJP Community Case Management Officer for Canaan Heights, Danielle Thomas, tells JIS News that since her assignment there, the community, and particularly the Benevolent Society, has been performing well in comparison to others.
“They are able to function as it relates to the delivery of several services to the community. From what I have seen, they have efficiently executed the JSIF summer camp, homework programme, and remedial GSAT and CSEC classes,” she informs.
Resident and member of the Benevolent Society, Kemoy Pinnock, tells JIS News that the community’s ‘shut-in’ programme is an outstanding initiative which has been creating “waves of change.”
Under the programme, residents who have benefitted from scholarships and training provided by Society through partnerships forged with other stakeholders, volunteer to provide care for the elderly and most vulnerable in the community on a monthly basis.
Ms. Pinnock also lauds the homework programme for the “great deal” it has done for parents who are unable to afford extra lessons for their children.
“For this year, the students who participated in the Grade Six Achievement Test lessons…received good passes and were placed at the schools of their choice,” M he informs
The next major project for the Canaan Heights Development Committee and Benevolent Society will be their annual pageant contest later this year, to be held in partnership with the Police Youth Club.