Kareem’s Quest celebrates with the children of Charles Town
Due to the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, many children in communities across Jamaica have been left without access to formal education. There are those who don’t have the requisite resources such as a tablet or the money to purchase Internet service and, as such, are not able to pursue their academic dreams.
For the Charles Town Maroon Council, located in Buff Bay, this was not a situation they were going to allow to blight the future of their children. The Charles Town community, which serves as one of the four major maroon settlements, has always leaned on the determination of their ancestors during times of hardship. “This centre has allowed the kids in and out of the community to print their work and learn for free. We have someone supervising them at all times, even when they don’t get work, we have things for them to do,” stated Colonel Marcia Douglas.
The centre, which sits on the former property of decorated maroon leader, Asafu, serves as a refuge for the students. There are also many other activities to keep them entertained and informed.
It was built by the Orphan Starfish Foundation and has added to the rich history of the location. “We got 10 computers and a printer as well, and the compound has Wi-Fi, which the kids access for free. On Saturdays, we have two separate IT classes, one for the younger kids and the other for the adults,” revealed Douglas.
TREAT FOR THE CHILDREN
Continuing, she said: “To reward the kids for their dedication to education, the centre decided to have a treat, so I told them I wanted to contribute something as well. I quickly called two companies and asked if they would be interested in donating products to the children and to my delight they quickly said ‘yes’.”
“Tru-Juice places great emphasis on our Jamaican culture and heritage. We are ‘Out Of Many, One Juice’ and donating to the Charles Town community allows us to show our appreciation of the maroons and their significant contribution to our country. We hope to brighten this period for the children in Charles Town,” said Lauren Mahfood, marketing manager, Trade Winds Citrus.
Honey Bun, which also donated several of their products, was happy to support the Charles Town community. “It gives us joy at Honey Bun to know that we are able to support the children that are living in this community. We brought a wide range of products that we know they enjoy and appreciate,” Dustin Chong, chief sales and marketing officer at Honey Bun, told The Gleaner.
When I arrived, the children were dancing and enjoying themselves, as the adults cooked and watched over them.
In between hosting the event, Colonel Douglas disclosed that they are still seeking to improve the infrastructure and are working with the Inter-American Foundation to accomplish this. “They are currently helping us to refurbish various buildings throughout our community. We have been able to employ a lot of persons from the community, even during the COVID period.”
Who is it for: People who are interested in the Maroon’s history.
Tip: Call and make an appointment for your visit. Also, find out the tour rates.
What stands out: The ornaments made my Mama G.
What to carry: Walking shoes for the various trails.
Must-try activity: Taking a dip in the Buff Bay River that runs parallel to the property
Contact numbers: 876-429-1892 /876-349-2900 or 876-365-6524
Facebook: Charles Town Maroon Council
Location: Charles Town, Portland