JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites is calling on community members to play a greater role in providing guidance to its young citizens.
  • The Minister was speaking at the official launch of the Healing Opportunities Partnering Through Education (HOPE) Centre in the Drewsland community in St. Andrew.
  • The Minister welcomed the establishment of the centre, describing it as “a beacon of hope”.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites is calling on community members to play a greater role in providing guidance to its young citizens, particularly those from unstable homes.

He said this is crucial in ensuring that they do not grow up “in an emotional and spiritual wasteland”, but are molded into well adjusted adults, who can make meaningful contributions to the development of the country.

The Minister was speaking at the official launch of the Healing Opportunities Partnering Through Education (HOPE) Centre during a ceremony at its location in the Drewsland community in St. Andrew on March 25.

He expressed the hope that a “community of care” would be created around every school and community, where persons of good intention, with a generosity of spirit willing to help to mentor troubled children.

The Minister welcomed the establishment of the centre, describing it as “a beacon of hope”, which presents an opportunity for community members to lead children in the right direction.

“Suppose every church in Jamaica had a ‘community of care’ as this project H.O.P.E. represents…do you realise what a new beginning would happen in this country? How quickly we could turn around lives and therefore turn around individual and national fortunes,” he argued.

This initiative, he said, is also important in reaching the community’s teen aged citizens who are often times unoccupied, particularly on weekends.

“Let them come here and…develop themselves into wholesome human beings through sport (and other activities),” he said.

The Minister further encouraged young persons in the community to take advantage of the services to be offered at the facility, including tutoring in mathematics and English.

The HOPE centre is a community development initiative of the Washington Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was established as part of the Church’s goal to have a greater impact on the lives of persons living in and around the boundaries of the Drewsland community.

The centre seeks to reshape the lives of residents through the various educational, training, empowerment and social programmes offered at the facility.