Sunday 23 February, 2020

JIS celebrates 10 years with Mt Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester

Director of the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester, Patrick Newman, accepts items from a member of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) team, Marcia Carr, during the agency’s visit ahead of Christmas. The JIS is celebrating 10 years since its adoption of the home.

Director of the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester, Patrick Newman, accepts items from a member of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) team, Marcia Carr, during the agency’s visit ahead of Christmas. The JIS is celebrating 10 years since its adoption of the home.

December marks the 10th year since the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) adopted the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, and a team from the agency journeyed to the home to celebrate the occasion and bring cheer to the boys and staff for the yuletide season.

Members of the team were joined by past staff members and their families, as well as a group of young swimmers. The visit was the 30th by the agency since the adoption.

Director of the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home, Patrick Newman, who is celebrating his fourth year in the position, expressed joy and thanks to the JIS team for the years of continuous support.

“Throughout the years you have made yourselves welcomed at the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home, and for that we are truly grateful. Your team has grown to love this place. I want to say thanks to everybody who comes. Ten years is a long time, and you have stayed with us and have grown with us. Our boys look forward to having you here with us every single time,” he told JIS News.

Although he is happy for the partnership with the agency, Newman expressed a desire to see more being done for boys by the society.

“Over the four years since I’ve been here, 118 boys registered at Mt Olivet. Of that number, 27 went back home to be reunited with their families, and 10 absconded. If a boy absconds and is on the street, that is where I have a problem. But if a boy absconds and goes home, I’m ok with that because I truly believe that is where he should be in the first place,” he said.

“The best place for children is in a loving and caring home with mommy and daddy. But I will also tell the boys that, outside of that, come to Mt Olivet and we will provide a substitute mother and father for you, because we care for the boys who come through this gate,” added Newman.

He said 15 boys reached the age of 18 and over and are doing very well outside. “They are working, going to school and paying their rent,” he said.

The director noted though, that there are some boys who are having a difficult time their circumstances.

“My biggest concern are the 18 boys who we had to send back to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) because we could not manage them. They need more than just care and protection. They need resocialisation and rehabilitation. Sometimes we just can’t help them,” he said.

Captains of the Makoz Aquatic Racers Swim Club, Jahi Bennett (3rd left) and Damaris Rowe (fourth left), hand over clothing items and toiletries to Director, Mt Olivet Boys’ Home, Patrick Newman (third right), ahead of Christmas. Also sharing in the moment are other members of the club. December marks the 10th year since the JIS adopted the home.

“The Mt Olivet Boys’ Home, with your (JIS) partnership, ensures that the boys we can help, we truly help them,” Newman added.

For her part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, said the staff members are so happy that as a team “we decided to adopt the Mt Olivet Boys’ Home”.

“It really has been a journey for us, and we were determined that we wanted to target boys in particular. I feel that we made the right decision to support this boys’ home. This is the little that we can do with our resources as staff at the JIS,” she said.

Rowe also commended those who have impacted the home through partnerships with the JIS.

“With our network, we have been able to reach out to corporate Jamaica, including the YB Afraid Foundation, which is building a new dormitory to host more boys. We’ve been here at Easter, back-to-school and Christmas time each year.

“We also thank members of the Makoz Aquatic Racers Swim Club, who have come to support us and have contributed to make our gifts even more.

“We really want to impact our society even in this small way,” the CEO said.

Sponsors for the visit were the Makoz Aquatic Racers Swim Club, Rainforest Seafoods, Lasco Distributors, Fontana Pharmacy, B and Y Enterprise Limited, SugaMama Cakes, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and a number of individuals.

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