JIS News

Summerfield Boys Home in Chapleton, Clarendon, is the latest beneficiary of the generosity of Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc., a non-profit organisation, established to improve the welfare of under-served children in Jamaica and the United States.
COJO recently presented the institution with a commercial printer, a 42 inch flat screen television, clothing, school supplies, balls, a projector, and five computers, among other things.
Founder and Chairman of COJO, Gary Williams said, “We believe that children should be a priority. If you don’t stand for children, you don’t stand for much. Not because they are in an institution they should be forgotten. I believe that once children are given the opportunity, and the resource and the help, they can become productive.”
Mr. Williams informed JIS News that while it is good to attend to the material needs a child might have, it is even more important to give of one’s time and talent, as children have an intrinsic need to be nurtured, and to be treated with love and respect, regardless of their circumstances.
“I wish more people in Jamaica saw children as a priority. I think they could do more. They don’t have to give material things, they can cook some food or go into a home, take time off from the job, take some of these children out to dinner, spread a little cheer, take them out to the movies, take them to a football game, take them to the beach. It makes a difference because it shows they care. There’s a need, we need to give back, and the best way to do that is through children,” he stated.
One of the residents, Keneil Delpratt, a student of Edwin Allen High School, said the boys were heartened by the outpouring of love from COJO, and the computers in particular, would be very useful to them.
“I feel very happy for the gifts COJO group brought to the home. The boys, I think they will take good care of them. Before we never have any computer, now we get happy, we can use it on our research, our SBAs (school-based assessment) and so forth. We will use it play game more time when we feel a little boring. We feel very happy that COJO carry the computer,” he commented.
Meanwhile, Acting Manager of the Home, Pauline Munroe, lauded COJO’s efforts to fill some of the existing needs, noting that the computers would be especially valuable to those who are in secondary school.
“This is very good for the boys. The boys will be occupied in a constructive way, learning to be computer literate; and I understand that we’ll be getting internet too, it will assist them in their assignments, in their research and things like that. So they will benefit from it, it’s good. You can see that they are excited,” she informed.
The Summerfield Boys Home was established in 1976 with five boys. Currently, there are 51 residents between the ages of eight and 18, four of whom are mentally challenged. Twenty-three of these boys are presently enrolled in high schools, while three are receiving skills training through the HEART Trust/ NTA.

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