Suga interviewed Director of Service Projects of Rotary St. Andrew North, Kecia Taylor on September 9th after their Health Fair, which was held at the Chetolah Mel Nathan Educational Centre in Hannah Town the day before. Suga had some interesting finds.
What is Rotary?
Rotary is a non-profit organization that uplifts less fortunate communities via various community service projects and other social activities.
What is the significance of September to Rotarians?
September is the month where Rotary members, known as Rotarians focus on literacy and basic education.
Why Chetolah Mel Nathan Educational Centre ?
The Mel Nathan Preparatory School (1994) and Chetolah Park Primary School (1908) were merged under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on September 1, 2018 in order to maintain viability. Both schools are located in Hannah Town, West Kingston in an area with low socio-economic conditions, plagued by violence and water shortages. Mel Nathan Preparatory was established through the charitable trust of Mr. Reynold Scott of the Scott Foundation, a human development agency of the United Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman while Chetolah Park Primary was a school operated by the Ministry of Education.
What was Rotary St. Andrew North’s plan to help Chetolah Mel Nathan Educational Centre?
Instead of the expected Back to School Stationery Drive, Director of Service Projects of Rotary St. Andrew North, Kecia Taylor decided to take a more holistic approach to education, focusing on Health and Wellness.
Rotary St. Andrew North’s assistance to Chetolah Mel Nathan Educational Centre?
The Rotary Club of St. Andrew North embarked on a two-part project with a value of $1,000,000JMD. They handed over back to school supplies and computers on September 3 and conducted a health fair on Saturday. September 8, providing medical, optical and dental screening to the students.
Did you know?!
Interestingly, in discussions with Principal, Tamara Rowe during planning, most students already had school bags but did not have the essential items such as books and pens. If this is the case across the board, parents may have it all wrong.
Age range of Students
Students are as young as 3 years old and the oldest included students who just left the school after sitting the GSAT Examination, but they still benefited from the health fair.
Level of Participation
The majority of students did not get their medicals as yet and 125 parents showed up at the Health Fair between the hours of 9am-2pm, where some had 2 or 3 children.
What were the logistics to aid children on the day?
A sequential numbering system was assigned at the gate and registration proceeded in that order. At registration, Rotaractors (Ages 18-30 in Rotary’s youth arm Rotaract clubs, New Kingston and U.W.I Mona) and teachers assessed immunization records and commenced the completion of the Ministry’s Health Form. Each child was also assigned a ticket for a snack and optical assessment.
The Rotary Club of St. Andrew North and the U.W.I Rotaract Club recognized September 8 as the day to improve the literacy of our children by donating books to the newly merged school and reading to the students while they waited to be ushered to the medical teams.
Cheers to the Volunteers:
Medical, Dental and Optical Assistance
All 125 children received medical, dental and optical assessments.
A lot of the children were immunized, but have never seen a dentist.
Teeth cleaning was performed on 32 children, using all the time available on the day. Gift packages were distributed to maintain and encourage good dental hygiene.
What will happen to the Children who need further optical assistance?
The parents were advised to seek assistance at the neighbouring area clinics.
However, Rotary St. Andrew North is looking at other detailed optical assessments and prescription eye glasses as a continuation of this project and will be looking at the continued needs of the school.
Sponsors and Volunteer Medical Doctors
Kudos to the Sponsors and Doctors who assisted with this project that made a difference in the lives of many children.
Medical doctors who offered their time to assist on the day were Dr O’ Danielle O’ Sullivan, Dr. Christopher Wilks, Dr. Trudy-Ann Johnson, Dr. Renee Badroe and Dr. Lorrise Williamson and four medical students, Kelsey Williams Racine Ramnatha, Denzel Moore and Obasi Etienne.
Sponsors included Sangsters Book Store, Mailpac Express, One Stop Computers Limited, The Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Kirk Distributors Limited, Insight Optical, Central Trading Limited, Totally Male Club Spa and Salon, Barco Caribbean, Jamaica Broilers Group Limited and Inter Commercial Distributors Limited.
Congratulations to Rotary Club of St. Andrew North for a well executed, holistic project and wishing continued success for follow-up projects with Chetolah Mel Nathan Educational Centre.
Be the inspiration and help to support Rotary st. Andrew North with their next Service Project.
Rotary Club of St. Andrew North
Meeting Place: Altamont Court Hotel at 1 Altamont Terrace, Kingston 5. Ja.
Meeting Day and Time: Weekly on Mondays at 6:00pm
Facebook: Rotary Club St. Andrew North
By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this Article, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.