GoodHeart | D&G Foundation targetting underserved communities
The D&G Foundation is continuing its roll out of community-based activities geared towards the enhancement of facilities and the lives of people living in underserved areas. Speaking with The Gleaner, Dennis Beckford, accountant, D&G Foundation, detailed some of the work being done in the Eastwood Gardens community, including the newly renovated community centre.
“Last year we had a competition for Jamaica 60 where we awarded $6 million to six communities, two from each county. I think we had over a hundred entries and we shortlisted them and Eastwood Gardens was one of the recipients of the top six spots. Their project was to refurbish their library and community centre. They were able to renovate the centre and fix up the library. Our session there the other day was just to show them that we are here with you on this journey,” he shared.
The centre’s once run-down library and gathering space received a complete facelift to better serve as a study centre and safe space for students and at-risk youths, as well as a venue for community events. Recently, D&G in partnership with Dragon hosted one of its reasoning sessions with Dean Fraser and Nation Boss at the centre to further the drive for rehabilitation. According to him, it’s all about reaching the men in these spaces.
“What that aims to do is to have a reasoning session with the youth, mainly males in these communities. We go in for the day and have some reasoning sessions mostly about emotions and how you put yourself together and general well-being,” Beckford told The Gleaner.
He shared that there are many more projects in store for several other communities.
“The next one, I can’t definitively say when, but I know we are looking at Grants Pen. Some persons there had reached out to us so we are trying to put together something for that area. We have not had any final discussions yet because one of the things that we try to do is let the communities lead instead of the foundation leading. So for example they would write to us and say ‘we have 30 young men that we would love for you to come in and talk to’ we would let them know and go and provide lunch for the day, sip some dragon and have a reasoning,” he said.
In a release sent to The Gleaner, Juliana Prince, founder and events manager of the Eastwood Gardens Youth Club, expressed gratitude for the support she received in restoring the centre.
“Seeing all that we have accomplished, we are profoundly grateful for the much-deserved facelift of our youth club. We have successfully achieved all that we set out to do, and we are now encouraged more than ever to continue to use this space for the betterment of our community,” she said.
“We entered the competition to uplift our club space because it was deteriorating badly. We knew that by upgrading the centre, we could ultimately upgrade our community, particularly the youth who depend on our services. Since we received the donation from the D&G Foundation, we have installed new concrete boards in the ceilings and repainted the entire space. We have also purchased tablets and printers for students and speaker systems for hosting events. Additionally, we’ve painted the library and installed more durable boards for better shelving,” Prince continued.