JIS News

Senior Citizens’ Clubs in St. Thomas have launched several income generating projects to expose the versatility of the elderly in the parish.
The launch, organized by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), was held on February 26 at the Anglican Church Hall in Morant Bay, where several handicraft items, foods, preserves as well as fruits and vegetables were displayed.
Currently, the seniors are engaged in the making of pillows, baskets, brooms, pastry, breadfruit punch and art and craft items. They are also seeking to raise funds to offset expenses for the operation of these projects.
The project leaders are Marion Urguhart, Louise Cunningham, Judith Wallace, Marjorie Walker and Ettrick DaCosta.
Parish Co-ordinator for the NCSC, Verona O’Connor said the event was organized to highlight some of the work being done by the seniors and volunteers.
She pointed out that senior citizens made up 10 per cent of the population and urged the seniors to make better use of their lives. “When you are 60 you are still young and ready for another 60 years,” she told them.
Mrs. O’Connor said the NCSC was currently reviewing the bammy project of the Morant Bay Seventh Day Adventist Senior Citizens Club and trying to raise funds to purchase a cassava juice extractor.
She said the seniors hoped to restart the project, which ceased in 1998 due to the death and migration of some of its members. Initially, funds for the project were provided by Help Age International in London, while training and workshops were done by personnel from the NCSC and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Manager of BDO Jamaica, William Washington-Welch spoke on the topic: ‘How to run a successful small business’. He told the seniors and volunteers that the market was changing, and how business was done five or six years ago could not work now.
He said in order for businesses to be successful, managers and employees must also have “an understanding of people, and should treat them with respect and love”.
“What could have been successful businesses failed because they do not know how to treat their staff or their customers. And even though they may have a good product, and the right location, they don’t last long because their staff keep leaving or the customers think that they have disrespected them and they do not return, ” Mr. Welch said.