JIS News

The YMCA has announced plans to organise the redevelopment of Caymanas Bay in St. Catherine, which once accommodated its residential camp.
The cost of redeveloping the residential camp area, also known as Camp Hamilton, which was vandalised in the 1970s, is estimated at $55 million.
Sarah Newland-Martin, General Secretary of the Kingston YMCA told JIS News that the area was sited on 4.5 acres of land, which was now overgrown with bushes.
“What we are trying to do is re-establish the site for not only residential camp but for training programmes, rental purposes and also to work with the communities through programmes,” she explained.
“We actually used to run a JAMAL programme [an adult literacy programme] accommodating the Glades and Caymanas Bay communities,” the General Secretary added.
She said the YMCA was currently exploring various possibilities in redeveloping the area, which would commence with the clearing of the area.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mrs. Newland-Martin further noted, had assigned a consultant to work with the YMCA in crafting a strategic plan to redevelop the site at Caymanas Bay. “We also need to draw up a plan through the Council of Voluntary Social Services,” she informed. In terms of raising the millions to get the project underway, the General Secretary said that the YMCA would approach a number of funding agencies, as well as firms and individuals, to seek assistance.
The first YMCA was started in Kingston in 1857 when, according to YMCA historian Sibthorpe Beckett, there were only 55 branches established in Great Britain and 100 in the USA, with none yet established in Canada.

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