Several items, including 145 sheets, 50 blankets, 15 window curtains, hard cover books, pens, pencils, game sets and footballs were handed over to the Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre for boys, located in St. Ann, by Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Allen, on December 22.
The items were put together for the institution by the Brittonville Community Club in the area, in collaboration with the Sandals Foundation.
In her address to the more than 80 wards of the State at the centre, Lady Allen encouraged the boys to make the best use of their time at the facility.
Quoting from the book, the ‘Invisible Man’, by Ralph Ellison, Lady Allen said the author related the story of an un-named individual, in search of his identity, who was asking questions of everyone except himself.
Her Excellency, The Most Honourable Lady P Allen (4th right), administrators and friends of the Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre, in St. Ann, with goods that were handed over to the facility by Lady Allen on December 22. From left are: Project Co-ordinator, Carmen Wilson; Sandals Hotel representative, Lindsay Issacs; President of the Brittonville Community Club, Ada Webb; Superintendent of the Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre, Wesley Christie; Custos of St. Ann, Hon. R.O Walters; Sandals Representative, Ian Spencer; and President of the Northern Jamaica Saventh Day Adventist Churches, Pastor Karl Archer.
“Sometimes we find that the problem is with everyone else, except with us, and we question everyone else, except questioning ourselves,” she said.
“Do you find that to be your problem young men, do you find that everyone else is the problem and not you?” Lady Allen asked the young boys.
She argued that in such a situation, they need to start asking themselves some serious questions, such as, who they are, and why they are at that location, and what they hope to achieve by being there.
Lady Allen encouraged them not to just spend their years at the facility until they are 18 years old, but to make use of the opportunities offered.
“If you have been rejected before, you now have an opportunity to find a new family, to start life all over again, because there are individuals who care about you and want to see you make something of your lives,” she said.
She urged the youngsters at the facility to start believing in themselves, as there are many persons who believe in them.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of the facility, Wesley Christie, told JIS News that they were very grateful for the gifts.
He said the educational materials would assist in the learning process of the wards, and that some of the other items would fill a need in the dormitories.