- The funds will go towards sustaining the RISE Kidz Club.
- The initiative is geared at providing an opportunity for inner-city children, ages eight to 14 years, to participate in supervised educational and recreational activities.
- The project has touched the lives of more than 900 children in some eight communities.
State-run oil refinery, Petrojam Limited, has donated some $1.4 million to RISE Life Management Services, to assist with the non-profit organisation’s operational expenses and sustain its current programmes for inner-city children.
Manager, Human Resources Development and Administration, Petrojam, Andrea Bent, who made the presentation to Executive Director of RISE Life, Sonita Morin Abrahams, during a brief ceremony at Petrojam’s Marcus Garvey Drive offices on January 14, said the funds will go towards sustaining the RISE Kidz Club.
The initiative is geared at providing an opportunity for inner-city children, ages eight to 14 years, to participate in supervised educational and recreational activities in a safe environment.
The project has touched the lives of more than 900 children in some eight communities, including Parade Gardens, Fletcher’s Land, Allman Town and Waterhouse, through initiatives such as the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Prep Programme, Creative and Performing Arts programme, and Behavioural and Grief Counselling.
“After learning about the extent and reach of this programme, we knew that we had to assist in ensuring its continuity, as it is through programmes such as these that we create opportunities to tackle and address the social ills that affect our society,” Mrs. Bent said.
She congratulated RISE Life on its remarkable efforts in developing and empowering children in inner city communities through its various educational and social interventions.
“We certainly cannot take for granted any opportunity we have to offer sustainable support to causes or organisations such as these, which seek to uplift the less privileged, particularly vulnerable, at-risk youth, who do not have access to these resources,” she stated.
Mrs. Abrahams expressed gratitude to Petrojam for the donation, which she said, is the largest the organisation has received “in quite a long time”.
The contribution, she said, will go a far way in reviving the Kidz Club, which she noted, has been a very important programme in the lives of many young Jamaicans.
“What we have found is that young people come to us and even when the programme ends and there are holidays, they come anyway, because they really prefer to be with us at RISE rather than out on the streets,” she noted.
Mrs. Abrahams also informed that many children, who have benefited from the Kidz Club in the past, have returned to assist as teachers’ assistants in several other programmes.
“We have people in their 20s, who started with us at age eight or nine and they consider themselves a part of the RISE family. They work as mentors in their communities and they are a huge part of who we are now,” she said.
RISE (Reaching Individuals through Skills and Education), formerly Addiction Alert, has been providing drug abuse and violence prevention, remedial education and health-related services to Jamaicans mainly living in the inner-city communities of Kingston for more than 20 years.
The group also offers a violence-prevention community programme for over 1,000 individuals from the communities of Allman Town, Fletcher’s Land, Southside, Tel Aviv, Tower Hill, Drewsland and Waterhouse. Additionally, it responds to more than 1,000 calls a year through its national telephone lifeline service.