Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Melody House girls remembered at Easter

Published:Thursday | April 20, 2023 | 12:46 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Shifu Haung (left) of Afresh Marketplace, and Zhiqiun King Lu (right) of Harbour City Shopping Mall, present Easter bun and cheese to Neville Morgan, groundsman, and Barabara Leach, senior house mother, for themselves and the young ladies of the Montego Ba
Shifu Haung (left) of Afresh Marketplace, and Zhiqiun King Lu (right) of Harbour City Shopping Mall, present Easter bun and cheese to Neville Morgan, groundsman, and Barabara Leach, senior house mother, for themselves and the young ladies of the Montego Bay Community Home for Girls through the Janet Richards Foundation, during an event held at the home on April 15.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Powered by the under-construction Harbour City Shopping Mall and Afresh Marketplace, Janet Richards, a retired banker, through her charity, the Janet Richards Foundation (JRF), continues to inspire young ladies and bring hope to the nation’s vulnerable community.

With the support of Zhiqian King Lu, and Shifu Haung, owners of Harbour City Shopping Mall, and Afresh Marketplace, whose establishments are expected to open later this year, along with members of the JRF treated young ladies and their caregivers at the Montego Bay Community Home for Girls in Irwin St James recently.

They were served a variety of hot meals and cold beverages, along with bun and cheese during their scheduled lunchtime. Outside of their meals, the girls were presented with gift bags containing grooming kits and other personalised items, including school-related tools.

King Lu said the partnership forged with the JRF is now embarking on its third community project, and that they committed and will continue to do all they can towards becoming a good neighbour to the young ladies and their caregivers at this facility, which is also popularly known as the Melody House.

“We are honoured to stand before you as we support the Montego Bay Community Home for Girls. This organisation has dedicated itself to providing a safe and nurturing environment for girls who need care and protection,” King Lu said.

The Melody House was established in 1979 and is a private, non-profit organisation that provides housing to abandoned and abused girls outside Montego Bay. While it receives some funding from the Government of Jamaica, its operations are mostly supported by charitable donations.

According to King Lu, the principles and mission on which the home was established serve as an inspiration for his company and the partnership forged with the JRF to do more in supporting those in need.

“This serves as a guiding light for all of us. It reminds us of the importance of creating a supportive and loving community for these young girls, empowering them to overcome their challenges and realise their full potential,” he noted.

“The Harbour City Shopping Mall, Afresh Marketplace and the Janet Richards Foundation want to make a positive impact on these young ladies’ lives. Through these partnerships, we aim to provide material assistance; inspire hope and a sense of belonging. Therefore, as we embarked on this journey together, remember that we all have a role to play in creating a brighter future for these young girls,” King Lu added.

For her part, Richards expressed appreciation to her foundation partners, who she noted understand what she and her team are doing and that they believe in the mission to continue to make a difference to the children in state homes, the physically challenged, the less fortunate children in schools, and the needy in western Jamaica.

“God has allowed me to meet the Harbour City team, believe me, they are like my backbone. They came into my life to help my foundation, and they have never said no to anything we required of them,” she informed.

To the 11 young ladies who were forced to make Melody House their home away from home, Richards encouraged them to hold fast as they chart a new path into adulthood.

“Continue the fight. I notice the numbers are reducing, and I am so happy,” she told the young ladies. “The last time I came here we had 15, and now we have 11, so it is telling me that Miss Barbara Leach, senior house mother and officers here are doing a good job.”