JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Helping the less fortunate through community service is at the heart of devoted Denham Town resident, Pauline Perez.
  • For over 40 years, Ms. Perez has been involved in the development of the West Kingston community, in which she grew up.
  • In 2001, she formed and became president of the Denham Town Community Development Committee Benevolent Society.

Helping the less fortunate through community service is at the heart of devoted Denham Town resident, Pauline Perez.

For over 40 years, Ms. Perez has been involved in the development of the West Kingston community, in which she grew up.

She tells JIS News that her passion for assisting others comes naturally and recalls that while going to school she would buy uniforms and books for other students. She says she would even take money from her mother to assist tenants, who sometimes found it difficult to pay their rent.

“I do not like to see people suffer, I like when they are assisted. One of my satisfactions is when I go to bed and know that I assisted at least one person for the day,” she says.

In 2001, she formed and became president of the Denham Town Community Development Committee Benevolent Society. She is also a member of several community organisations including the Kingston and St. Andrew Action Programme and the West Kingston Consultative Committee.

She has managed to solicit help from both Government and Non-Government Organisations (NGO), including the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and Peace and Love in Society (PALS).

These efforts have yielded positive results in the form of sanitary conveniences across Denham Town, back to school treats, ongoing care for the elderly, and conflict resolution training.

Ms. Perez also spearheads a community service programme, in which tertiary students, who benefit from assistance, are asked to serve the community in various ways.

“We ask them to give 200 hours to the community. We place those persons at the Denham Town Primary School and the Golden Age Home as well as other areas,” she explains.

With her assistance, the area has also benefited from several policing initiatives including the Violence Interrupter Programme and the recently installed Youth Curfew Programme. She even acts as mediator for family and community disputes.

Ms. Perez, who has had to overcome a number of obstacles in her own life, including being a teen mother, says that she did not allow her circumstances to prevent her from excelling.

She enrolled in a commercial college and went on to work at the National Housing Trust (NHT). It was while at the NHT that she was received training in project management and proposal writing, essential tools that she continues to use.

In addition to the many hats she wears, she is also a Justice of the Peace and even finds time to host a weekly call-in radio programme on Roots 96FM.

Ms. Perez says that she often encounters challenges but that she overcomes them with perseverance.

“Sometimes, when I [ask for assistance] I am insulted but that does not stop me. If I am told no I, I do not stop until I get a …yes,” says a determined Pauline Perez.

After decades of hard work, Ms. Perez says that there is still more she wants to get done. In addition to all that she has accomplished, she has plans to form a foundation for children transitioning from primary to high school.

For over 40 years of volunteerism and community work, Pauline Perez was on National Heroes Day awarded the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service at the National Honours and Awards ceremony held at King’s House.

“I was feeling elated, this is to say that hard work pays off and I will continue to do it until the day the breath leaves my body,” she tells JIS News.