KINGSTON — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, to improve sanitation and create economic ventures in Rose Town, Kingston, with an initial donation of US$1 Million.
Speaking at the signing, at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday (October 18), Mission Director of USAID/Jamaica, Dr. Karen Hilliard, said that the aim of the project is to build grassroots enterprises.
“There have been so many examples of success, so many valuable lessons learned, that we have jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment to support the Rose Town Foundation in its effort to develop the community,” Dr. Hilliard said.
“It is this kind of grassroots approach that many Governments and donors talk about, but few actually do, because it is difficult and because it takes time and perseverance. But, I have visited the Rose Town community on several occasions, and I share the view of several notable community development experts that it is a place that is ripe for change,” she told her audience.
The USAID Director described the partnership to help in the transformation of the inner-city community as “the beginning of a larger, multi-year partnership with the Prince’s Foundation”.
She said it is aimed at not only creating economic opportunities, through micro and community enterprises, but also making concrete investments in the infrastructure and the community need to drive economic development and generate decent living conditions for the residents.
The three-year project is to provide sustainable and formal access to water and sanitation to Rose Town, as well as setting up small, micro and medium sized enterprises in the area which has some 5,000 residents.
Over the past 25 years, the Prince’s Foundation has developed strong working partnerships with many of the leading holders in urban design and architecture, both in the United Kingdom, and internationally.
“It is the people from the community who are making things happen, we are just there to facilitate and try to get things going… what’s happening in the larger community, it is time to seize the opportunity, and I am delighted to be part of it,” said International Programmes Director of the Foundation, Hooper Brookes.
“Prince Charles picked the right place in 2000. You are a community of which movies should be made, and will be made. There is no more valuable time and energy and money that you can place on our youth, and our people who want a safe community,” stressed Michelle Rollins, Chairman of the Rose Hall Development, a partner in the project.
Rose Town Foundation’s Project Manager, Angela Stultz, told JIS News that the community has, in recent years, seen several development initiatives, to improve their economic condition as well as literacy among children and adults.
Founded 25 years ago by Britain’s Prince Charles, the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment is a forum aimed at ensuring that the design and build of homes, workplaces and communities are raised to levels of excellence, in terms of sustainability and local environmental factors and economies.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter