KINGSTON — The completion of an unfinished building to reduce overcrowding at the Granville Child Care Facility in Trelawny, will be the focus of this year's National Prayer Vigil project.
The building was startedfour years ago, to facilitate counselling sessions and alleviate overcrowding but it has remained unfinished since due to a lack of finances.
The National Prayer Vigil was conceptualised by former Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke, to invite divine intervention into helping the nation solve its social and economic problems. This year marks the 19th staging, which is scheduled for December 11 at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, Trelawny, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The theme is ‘Unity, Healing, Justice and Peace’, and it is being hosted by the Falmouth Ministers’ Fraternal.
Addressing a press briefing to outline plans for the vigil, at King’s House in Kingston on Friday (December 2), Project Committee Chairman Rev. Ephraim Philburn, said that, based on an estimate prepared by a public agency a year ago, a little over $4 million is needed to complete the building.
"We are soliciting help from all over, to help us to allow these young ladies to have a brighter future,” he said. He added that it was decided that it is a “well worthy project”, because there is a need to give the young women another chance.
"We want to raise their hopes. We want them to recognize that their past circumstances are not a determinant of what their future can be,” he said.
Rev. Philburn noted that completion of the building was also necessary to extend the services to other young girls who are challenged, but may not necessarily be a resident.
Chairman of the National Prayer Vigil Committee, Rev. Dr. Roy Henry, said the project is in keeping with the practice of the vigil which has, so far, contributed to the Kingston Public Hospital, the Princess Margaret Hospital and the May Pen ambulances.
Patron of the vigil, the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon Sir Patrick Allen, said this year’s will be “very significant”, given that it will be taking place on the cusp of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.
“If it is even this one time, let us come together, united in hearts and minds because, at the end of the day, despite our differences in philosophy and outlook, there is one thing common around which we all can coalesce, and that is our need for divine intervention,” the Governor-General said.
“I think just about everyone in Jamaica is cognizant of the fact that we need divine intervention and leadership, in the affairs of this nation,” he added.
The vigil is estimated to cost $2.5 million, but the cost has been offset by generous contributions from churches and stakeholders in Trelawny, with only approximately $500,000 now needed for its successful staging.
Treasurer of the National Prayer Vigil Committee, Rev. Nakia Johnson, noted that an additional $300,000, in pledges, has already been identified.
Persons wishing to contribute can do so through the Trelawny National Prayer Vigil and Project account at the Bank of Nova Scotia, account number # 0300443.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter