With Christmas fast approaching, members from the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) journeyed to the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, to bring cheer to the boys, through a work day, on Saturday (October 30).
The JIS work day included painting of the Ackee Dorm, putting up curtains, making beds, cutting the yard, ironing and several other activities to give the Home a face-lift. The Ackee Dorm houses some 12 boys, aged six to 12.
Administrative Assistant in the Research and Publications Department at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Joan Gayle (left) and JIS’ Acting Special Projects Manager, Latoya Crossman (right), hard at work painting a section of the Ackee Dorm at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, in Walderston, Manchester on Saturday, October 30.
Director of the Home, Sonia Lowe, expressed gratitude to members of the JIS for their interest in the lives of the boys, and their continuous efforts to make a difference and to help the Home to achieve its goals.
“This is the second visit by the JIS since I have been here. Today is a working day and everybody is painting or mentoring, cooking or doing something with the boys. What I like about the relationship with the JIS is that it’s ongoing and that the mentors keep in contact with the boys on a regular basis, and we hope it continues,” she said in a JIS interview.
She also saluted the sponsors and everyone who gave their time and effort to make the boys feel special.
Senior Supervisor of staff who has been working at the home for over five years, Jeffeth Watson, was pleased with the results of the work day and the impact it had on the boys.
“We are happy that [the JIS] came on board and [the boys] look forward to having you. When they hear that you are coming, they are excited and today, with the kind of work that is being put into the home, I am happy with the way [the JIS] has teamed together. It is looking good,” he said.
Public Relations Officer at the JIS, and Chairperson for the Mt. Olivet Outreach Committee, Odette Barron said the day was successful, and she was pleased with the assistance from JIS staff and corporate Jamaica.
Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Team Member, Hazel Christie spreads one of the beds during a work day at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home on Saturday, October 30.
“I am thrilled that the JIS staff, led by our Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Donna-Marie Rowe, put hands and hearts together to make the work day at Mount Olivet a successful one. It was great just watching everyone bond to make life a bit more comfortable for the boys. However, I must note that this could not have been possible had it not been for the overwhelming support from sponsors, including Pings Fabrics, Joseph’s, Edge Chem, Caribbean Broilers and Azans,” she informed, while pointing out that the foundation of the relationship with the Home is that of mentorship.
Eighteen year-old Ricardo McKenzie said he is grateful for the words of encouragement he gets from the JIS staff.
“When my parents left me, I didn’t know where I was going, but the JIS has told me that I can make it and that it’s a good thing I’m doing and I should continue. They give me some good advice,” Ricardo said.
Maxine Shrouder, one of the team members who participated, is happy that the JIS is willing to show love and affection to the boys and not just material things. “If we continue this, we’ll see the good results in the end,” she said.