JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Parade Gardens and the surrounding areas in downtown Kingston, now have a community centre, constructed at a cost of $39 million by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
  • The facility has space to add to educational and skills training in the area.
  • Political tensions have diminished in the communities where children are attending schools, and they now traverse areas that they had to avoid in the past.

Parade Gardens and the surrounding areas in downtown Kingston, now have a community centre, constructed at a cost of $39 million by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), with inputs from the community, and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).

Speaking at the official handing over ceremony on Wednesday, June 18, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who is also Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, informed that the facility has space to add to educational and skills training in the area.

He noted that political tensions have diminished in the communities where children are attending schools, and they now traverse areas that they had to avoid in the past.

“Those days are done, that kind of politics finished,” he told the gathering, adding that he will be refurbishing another building on the compound to serve mothers and children who have to leave their homes when relationships deteriorate, and when homes are destroyed by fires.

“Let this be a sign of the restoration of downtown Kingston, and persons will  know that the people of this area are dignified…honest people; that we have put violence behind us, and all we are looking for is opportunity to live decently, for our children,” the Minister said, as he urged the community to protect the building.

Just over $29 million for the project came from the European Union (EU), through the JSIF Poverty Reduction Programme.

Head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, said support for the programme shows the willingness of member states in the EU to contribute to other countries.

For her part, Managing Director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, lauded the communities for ensuring that the project was completed without incident.

“Our sponsoring partners (and the community), can feel justly proud of what has been collectively achieved. More importantly, we commend the community members for working together across party lines without incident. This is a prime example of putting community development first,” she said.