OF MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA
Once one leaves the coastal resort regions of Jamaica (which, in great part, feed Wall Street), and one begins to penetrate both the interior, and the hills, of the Island Nation, one will find that most of our average Jamaican families, in both rural and urban regions, work in the informal economy of Jamaica. They engage their little side, informal jobs as temporary day laborers in domestic work, tourism related work, etc., wherever they can. And with their meager earnings of a few dollars a day (usually between $20U.S. and $25U.S. a day), and after taking into consideration other living expense needs, they will purchase with their remaining pennies a little rice, beans, and when affordable, a little tin of mackerel.
Covid, however, with its painfully associated lock downs, caused all their day laborer opportunities to evaporate. Consequently, within days, families lined up at our Cathedral, our parishes, and our missions by the hundreds, seeking food and hygiene packages of basic human need for themselves, and more importantly, for their precious children.
It was the Friends of the Diocese who were the veritable life savers for these families. Our Friends enabled the Diocese to distribute thousands of those crucial care packages. Friends also enabled the Diocese to serve two hundred plus hot meals, a couple of days a week, to our homeless and unemployed on the streets of Montego Bay.
Many, but not all, of our families are now able to re-engage their informal job opportunities; although, not at pre-pandemic levels! THE ISSUE THAT OUR FAMILIES NOW FACE is the inflationary cost of food. Their meagre daily earnings have not increased, and therefore their buying power, with inflation, has been significantly reduced. It is exceedingly difficult for our lower income earners in Jamaica. They struggle, bless their hearts!
And so, once again, with current inflation rates, our families line up at our Cathedral, our parishes, and our missions, pleading again for a helping hand with supplemental nutrition, and hygiene products, for their precious children. Friends, such as Food for the Poor Ministry, graciously provide rice when they are able. Other Friends, like Dr. Andrew Simone’s Canadian Food for Children Foundation, generously gift our families with other various nutritional items when available. Both organizations, as Friends, have been a huge blessing to our people!
It is, however, INDIVIDUAL FRIENDS that enable our Diocese to purchase alternate forms of nutrition as a much-needed supplement to the above. Canned proteins are especially crucial. Cooking oil, cornmeal, individual hygiene products, etc., are all gifted by the kind generosity of individual Friends of the Diocese.
But some, sadly, still go without. MAY WE, THEREFORE, INVITE YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND OF THESE BEAUTFIFUL FAMILIES, BY CLICKING ON THE SAFE AND SECURE DONATE BUTTON BELOW, to befriend and accompany these low-income families in their struggle?
We visited a tight knit, yet exceedingly poor, agricultural community in April of 2022. The community is a tad north, as one journeys further up the hill, from Cambridge outside of Montego Bay. The community is called The Village at Rose Hill. Although destitute, they have their elected, and highly respected, civic leadership in place. Father Kamil Kowalski, Pastor of St. Mary’s little Catholic Community in Cambridge, and Mr. Oral Spense, lay pastoral associate closely with the community.
The community has asked for assistance with establishing both a Broiler Chicken, and Layer Hen Poultry Farm. The community, under the watchful observance of their civic leadership, Father Kowalski, and Mr. Spense will furnish the labor in building their needed coops. WE NEED FRIENDS, however, to assist the Diocese with the purchase of materials needed, chicks, startup feed, feeders, etc.
With that said, MAY WE, THEREFORE, INVITE YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND OF THESE FAMILIES IN THE VILLAGE AT ROSE HILL, BY CLICKING ON THE SAFE AND SECURE DONATE BUTTON below, to befriend and accompany these families on their journey to self-sustainability? You’re accompanying these families will not only gift them with much needed protein, but also enable them to generate a little communal income.
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