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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Information Service (JIS), on Wednesday (December 11), donated a package of books and posters on Jamaican heritage and culture to the Mount Olive Youth Club in Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew that will benefit the community’s children.
  • The package includes storybooks such as A Different Hurricane and Other Stories and Wake Rasta and Other Stories; books on culture, such as Jamaican Folk Customs and Beliefs, Rhythms, Wheel and Tun, and Our Culinary Heritage; books on Jamaican history such as What is Our National Heritage, Freedom Road, Free Villages, Freedom in Jamaica, Maroons and Emancipation Tit Bits.
  • The club also received posters depicting the National Anthem, National Pledge, National Symbols, and National Heroes and Heroine; Governors-General; Prime Ministers; and globally renowned cultural icon – Miss Lou.

The Jamaica Information Service (JIS), on Wednesday (December 11), donated a package of books and posters on Jamaican heritage and culture to the Mount Olive Youth Club in Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew that will benefit the community’s children.

The package includes storybooks such as A Different Hurricane and Other Stories and Wake Rasta and Other Stories; books on culture, such as Jamaican Folk Customs and Beliefs, Rhythms, Wheel and Tun, and Our Culinary Heritage; books on Jamaican history such as What is Our National Heritage, Freedom Road, Free Villages, Freedom in Jamaica, Maroons and Emancipation Tit Bits.

The club also received posters depicting the National Anthem, National Pledge, National Symbols, and National Heroes and Heroine; Governors-General; Prime Ministers; and globally renowned cultural icon – Miss Lou.

“I must commend the JIS for the support. I wrote to them on behalf of the community members and they provided the feedback to us in a very positive manner. The package received will be distributed to the children in the community and it will help them to be well-rounded,” Club President, Allison Hughes, said.

The publications, she pointed out, will “help to educate their young minds, and help them to look forward and do well in school”, adding that consequent on the provisions, “their future is bright”.

Speaking at the handover of the publications, JIS Chief Executive Officer, Donna-Marie Rowe, noted that “we know that the children will enjoy learning about our dances and other aspects of our heritage”.

Manager of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Research and Publications Department, Taja Simpson (left), talks about some of the JIS’ publications that are being handed over to President of the Mount Olive Youth Club, Allison Hughes (right). The Club, located in Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew, received a box of publications from the JIS. Looking on is JIS Chief Executive Officer, Donna-Marie Rowe.

“We congratulate the president of the youth club for taking the initiative to reach out to us. This is an excellent move to gift children books during the holidays,” the CEO added.

The Mount Olive Youth Club, which comprises youth from Lawrence Tavern in west rural St. Andrew, was founded about 16 years ago.

The organisation, however, became dormant in recent years, but has been reactivated with Miss Hughes at the helm.

Outlining the reason for the club’s revival, Miss Hughes said, at the community level, she saw “where the young children didn’t have any form of motivation or interactive activities to help them to communicate and socialize well with their peers.

As a result, she said, “I took up the initiative to run the club and to see how best I could offer them another way of enjoying themselves as children”.

“We try to get them engaged, because, at times when they leave high school, they don’t find themselves being employed immediately or they don’t find themselves back in school… and most of them would be sitting on the roadside and loitering,” Miss Hughes shared.

Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe (centre), outlines some of the content of one of the JIS’ publications ‘Wheel an Tun: An Introduction to Traditional Jamaican Dances’, to President of the Mount Olive Youth Club, Allison Hughes (right). The JIS donated a number of its books and posters to the Club, located in Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew. Looking on is Manager of the JIS’ Research and Publications Department, Taja Simpson.

With the guidance of the Social Development Commission (SDC), along with the Police Youth Club in Lawrence Tavern, which Miss Hughes said “helped to get the club off the ground and to guide us”, the club is back on its feet and has gone full speed ahead in football and netball competitions at the community level.

“We have multiple competencies in different areas. So we try to utilise them in the best way possible, and we have been successful in most of our events… competitions that we have entered.”

Currently, the club has no home base. But that has not deterred the members, as they meet outside a community grocery shop to host meetings and prepare for events such as the upcoming Christmas treat and tree-lighting ceremony, slated for December 22 under the theme, ‘Endorsing Social Welfare for Community Development’.