Ex-cops donate to Manchester ECI and children's home – Jamaica Observer

CHRISTIANA, Manchester — Scores of children at the Christiana Seventh-day Adventist Early Childhood Institution and the New Vision Children’s Home near this town benefited from the philanthropic efforts of the Jamaica Ex-police Association of South Florida recently.
Former president of the association and dub poet, Malachi Smith, told the Jamaica Observer on Monday that for over two decades the former members of the police force travel to Jamaica annually for a week of philanthropic activities.
“We came and presented books and bags to the children and we also read the stories. I am acutely aware of the importance of us making that shift in terms of where we are going as a people. I personally believe and I know too that the children are really our future and the only way we are going to have a better society is by investing in the children from that early age,” said the former detective corporal.
He explained the selection process of the beneficiaries yearly.
“Once we decide what parish we are doing, we usually liaison with the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) of the force to identify the school,” he said.
Inspector Berthlyn Lloyd, sub-officer at the Manchester CSSB said the needs of students were identified earlier this year.
“… We were contacted to coordinate the initiatives focusing in the north section of Manchester. We visited the school and the New Vision Children’s Home. We made the enquiries as to some of the needs for both here and the institution,” she said of the need for toiletries and school supplies.
She said the influence of the police engaging young people, in particular children, is vital.
“With what is happening now, we have to focus on the young people, because when we can empower them and have them going in the right direction where they are taught the proper training on how to be disciplined. When we get them from this early stage they can make a positive impact in the future,” said Lloyd.
Smith said Lauderhill police Chief Constance Stanley was invited to speak to the children.
“We wanted to expose the young children to positive role models,” he said while adding that ex-soldier also assisted.
President of the Jamaica Ex-soldiers Association Hudson Grant said it is significant for former members of the security forces to continue service through volunteerism.
“This is a very important step, because we have served in uniform and now we are out of uniform and it is by choice we are volunteering together, so this speaks very well as to the partnership that we want to put forward,” he said.
“They [children] are our future. We can capture the young people from now then it means that there will be less crime, if we can direct them from now. They have great potential as we see now,” he added.
School Principal Kerry-Ann Francis Llewellyn expressed gratitude for the donations.
“We are more than grateful. We have a total of 84 students on roll and to see us being that institution of choice we are more than happy,” she said.
Smith said the association donated a computer and printer to the Christiana Police Station and a refrigerator to the Mandeville Police Station during the week of activities. Scholarship awards were also presented to Christiana High School students. The Burnt Savannah Basic School in St Elizabeth is also set to benefit from donations.
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