Laughter, dancing, drumming and the melodious singing of the queen of reggae, Rita Marley, greeted His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales (always known as Prince Harry) on his visit to the Rise Life Management Services in downtown Kingston on Tuesday (March 6).
The Prince, who arrived in Jamaica on Monday (March 5) for a four-day visit to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, toured the non-government organisation where he was welcomed by a throng of dignitaries, members of the media and excited children and residents of the nearby communities, all anxious to catch a glimpse of royalty.
RISE, formerly the Addiction Alert Organisation, 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 nearly 20 years.
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The group also offers a violence-prevention community programme for over 1,000 individuals from the communities of Allman Town, Fletchers 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.
Prince Harry was led on a short tour of the East Street facility by Executive Director, Sonita Morin-Abrahams, where he met with members of the Rise Kids’ Club, and viewed items manufactured by young entrepreneurs. He was also entertained by the Alpha Boys’ Band, Rise Dancers and Mrs. Marley, who led the audience in a spirited rendition of her late husband’s, ‘One Love’.
Prince Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana, is in Jamaica representing his grandmother, The Queen, as part of the international celebrations commemorating the 60th anniversary of her coronation.
The Prince is slated to make several stops in Kingston, Trelawny and Montego Bay before he departs on March 8. One of the most highly anticipated events was his meeting today with sprint king Usain Bolt at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Usain Bolt Track, where he “beat” the reigning 100m Olympic Champion in a friendly race. He also listened to a moot debate by students at the UWI, Mona Law Faculty.
The Prince also toured the Bustamante Hospital for Children and unveiled the ‘Rings of Life’ statue at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.
On Wednesday (March 7), he will participate in a military exercise at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) headquarters and oversee the dedication of the JDF’s Rappelling Tower. He will co-pilot a helicopter to Falmouth where he will visit William Knibb Baptist Church, Good Hope Great House and the Falmouth Pier. He will also attend a Jamaica night reception and show at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter