It was a day of fun and excitement at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester on Saturday, April 6, as the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) staged its third annual sports day at the facility.
The event was part of the agency’s outreach to the home, which it adopted in 2009.
A number of volunteers also shared in the day’s activities, showing off their athletic prowess in relays, short and long distance races, orange shuttle race and tug-o’war.
Radio Archivist at the JIS, Andre Sawyers, said he enjoyed the time spent with the boys. “The few hours we spent with them made a huge difference as they seemed so excited to see us,” he stated.
Similar sentiments were shared by Web Designer/Developer at the JIS, Duane Anderson, who said: “it was fun interacting with the kids and tapping into my inner kid. I enjoyed the day’s activities and I think the initiative is great. It gives me the feeling that people still care and I like the fact that JIS goes out of their way for these boys.”
Member of staff at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, Francine Dennis, said the boys look forward to the regular visits by the JIS team.
“I know that the boys enjoyed themselves. They like these recreational activities and it helps them to know that they have a family outside of the staff at the home, and they are able to communicate with persons outside their regular circle,” she noted.
Radio Writer/Producer/Presenter at the JIS, Aldeen Campbell, said she felt a sense of fulfilment in sharing time with the boys and making them happy.
“For the many times we have visited the home it’s always good to know that we can bring a smile to the faces of the boys,” she stated.
“Whether it is Easter, Back-to-school or Christmas, it is evident that the boys, as well as the staff at the Home look forward to seeing us and vice versa,” she added.
Sponsors included Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Coldfield Manufacturing Limited, Rainforest Seafoods, Maxfield Bakery and Pastries Limited, Trade Citrus Limited, and Grace Foods and Services Limited.
The home, located in the hills of Walderston, is home to 28 boys, ages six to 18 years. The JIS makes quarterly visits to the facility, to spend quality time with the boys and mentor them, provide school supplies and items for the home, and carry out refurbishing work.
The agency’s outreach activity is bolstered by a number of organisations, which have continued to positively impact the lives of the boys. These include Josephs, Lasco Food Distributors, Continental Baking Company Limited, AzMart, Jamaica Broilers, and Wisynco, with Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Sandals Foundation.