Jamaïque is a group of 15 teenagers from Orléans,
Ontario, Canada. In March of 2003, during their scheduled school
holiday, the youths ranging from ages 17 to19 traveled to the
poverty-stricken areas of Kingston, Jamaica. They were accompanied
by 5 adult missionaries who were using the experience to express
their solidarity and concern for the needy of the Third World.
During the visit, the group traveled
to areas of Kingston, lending their assistance in various projects
ranging from construction & painting, to cleaning & social
work. They devoted their time, energy, love and vacation in order
to help some of the most impoverished inhabitants of our world.
It is an experience that truly enriches our
young people and leaves no one indifferent. Armed with an eagerness
to make a difference, the group returned home with a greater consciousness
not only with regards to social injustice but the experience expanded
their knowledge of another culture and better prepared them for
involvment in their community. .
After the events of 9/11, Jeun'Espoir Jamaïque
public funding was cut. Other attempts to discourage their continued
participation in this outreach, failed. Their personal contribution
and involvement to this program was far more important than any
physical deterrents or financial constraints. The group devised
an effective fundraising focus and overcame those obstacles with
Each participant contributes financially to
substantiate his or her engagement and takes part in various fundraisers
to pay the trips numerous expenses such as tools, wood and paint.
A combined effort each participant had to contribute a total of
In the months leading up to their annual trip,
they raised approximately $24,000 CDN to cover costs of building
materials and tools, clothing, sports equipment and miscellaneous
items for the elderly & abandoned children of Jamaica. The
visit during their short ten day stay on the Island was a sheer
On arrival in Jamaica, Sister Grace, of the
Franciscan Ministries arranged their accommodations, as well as
their list of duties. Logistics for building a house, a climbing
structure for school children and itinerary for their time at
the Marigold Centre for Abused and Abandoned Children, as well
as the Eira Schader Residence for Seniors were conveniently arranged.
In October 2002, the Jamaican (Ottawa) Community
Association Inc. made a special presentation to Jeun'Espoir Jamaique
for their Outstanding Community Service, at their annual Jamaica's
National Heroes' Gala.
not only brings the organizers and participants the satisfaction
of meeting high fundraising goals. The additional fulfillment which
their successful efforts has encouraged is manifold. The development
and addition of a second functioning group, with the assistance
& cooperation of another High School, other devoted groups of
teachers and parents and more dedicated and responsible students.
In the not too distant future, (organizers have confided) they will
be setting up an additional program - Destination Africa!
Much respect to Andre and Jeun'Espoir Jamaique
and all who contribute to and support their efforts! Please take
the time to visit their web pages to get a better idea as to the
depth of their program and their commitment to provide community
services at home and abroad. Also see what OUR youth have been
doing during their formative years. The beauty is, it's not only
their own lives that are being enriched, they are touching the
lives of so many others.
For more information visit the Jeun'Espoir Jamaique