JIS News

MANDEVILLE – The Canaan Heights community in Clarendon has received four computers and other office equipment from the Social Development Commission (SDC), as part of the agency’s community safety and security initiative funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Director of Governance at the SDC, Sherine Walker-Francis, told the handing over ceremony at the Canaan Heights Community Centre on Saturday March 12, that the work of the agency has helped to turn around the community, because it wants change.

“Remember, to protect the children and the equipment. Encourage the young men in the community to promote positive things, and then we will see the community and country benefitting. The women play an important role in the development our country and our communities and, as we go forward, continue to work knowing that today is a milestone and not the end of the journey,” she said.

Head of the Clarendon Police, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Dathan Henry, urged the community not to return to the days when it was plagued by gang feuds and murders and other crimes. He pledged to seek support for the community, and maintain the police’s present throughout the area.

"I also want you to commit yourself to never to allow your community to return to the savagery of the early 2000s into 2008. I can assure you, the commitment of the police is to stay here,” he assured the audience.

Chairman of the Clarendon Crime Prevention Committee, William Shagoury, recalled when outsiders feared entering the community. He said things have changed because the residents wanted change.

“I remember, seven years ago, nobody wanted to come here, and the reason why I have so much faith in the people of Canaan Heights, is because we have good people living here. Persons seeking employment no longer have to disguise that they live at Canaan Heights. The community is going good, let’s continue to build on what we have achieved,” he said.

Chairman of the Canaan Heights Community Development Committee, Albert Bailey, in accepting the donation said he was pleased with the work of the SDC and the police in bringing about change in the community.

“We have come a far way, and we look forward to many more occasions when we can work for a brighter future,” he said.         

Over the next three years, the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica, will also be operating in Canaan Heights.