Help promised for depressed Callaloo Mews

Help promised for depressed Callaloo Mews

From left: Pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle in St Andrew Rev Al Miller; Executive Director for Food For The Poor Kivette Silvera; Member of Parliament for St Andrew Western Anthony Hylton; Branch Leader for Home and Global Missions Valerie Thomas; Callaloo Mews Basic School Principal Angella Black; and Deputy Superintendent of Police for the St Andrew South Division Donald Francis engage in a discussion at the fact-finding event for the Callaloo Mews project held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)

CALLALOO Mews is one of the more depressed communities in St Andrew, with a lack of sanitary facilities, deplorable road conditions and flooding challenges.

However, if American preacher/gospel singer Donnie McClurkin and the Perfecting Faith Missions Leadership team have their way, the community should undergo significant improvement in the near future.

As an example of the poor social conditions in the community, Callaloo Mews Basic School Principal Angella Black gave a graphic description of the poor practices that existed in the area, which elicited gasps of disbelief and lamentation.

“The children would defecate and urinate anywhere, so I was tearing out my hair thinking something must have happened. Why would they do that? So I stopped all academic learning and had a meeting with my staff, when a staff member told me that, ‘Dem nuh have nuh toilet a dem yard’,” Black said to guests during the fact-finding event for the Callaloo Mews project held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on Tuesday.

“For two weeks I had to do bathroom training. At that time, I only had two restrooms there with 30 children and we had to take time to show them how to wash hands and use the bathroom,” she added.

Her concern about the bathroom facilities was supported by Callaloo Mews community representative Karen Francis.

“The toilet thing is a big issue. We have a lot of family yard wid one bathroom. Some yard only have one toilet a share. Drainage is a big issue too. The community really need help and this project would make a big difference,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The project is expected to explore the possibility of better housing and bathroom facility placement within the community and also establish a feeding programme for the children on the streets who are lacking consistent care and provision and consequently provide a safe place for them to have a nutritious meal each day.

In a release, McClurkin noted that he will not be coming to “be the hope of Jamaica”, but to provide some encouragement and support.

“I unequivocally believe, as it is written in Psalm 133, that there is a commanded blessing and life forever more when we operate in unity. Therefore, it is imperative for us as the body of Christ to unify and work in collaboration with the government, charitable organisations and the private sector at this time; not under a political movement or a denomination, but under the banner of Christ’s love to maximise the Kingdom’s impact and ultimately the growth and advancement of the people,” said McClurkin.

“We want to show the world a unified body of Christ through our relationship with God and with each other, which is at the core of this fact-finding mission,” he added.

The project is being done in collaboration with government officials, clergymen, and non-governmental organisations such as Food for the Poor.

McClurkin, the Perfecting Faith Missions Leadership team and other partners, will participate in a site visit of the Callaloo Mews Community on Wednesday.

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