Downswell delivers


Downswell delivers

Observer writer

Monday, May 04, 2020

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As the COVID-19 crisis worsens in Jamaica, many find themselves worrying about where their next meal will come from. For some residents of Central Village in St Catherine, their minds were put at ease courtesy of gospel singer Kevin Downswell, who distributed over 50 care packages on Saturday.

“They [the recipients] were elated. There was a point where I was among 50 or 60 people, then I started to walk from door to door to visit the elderly and their faces lit up. In many cases, they were inside their houses lying down all alone…About four or five people said: 'We really grateful and we're looking forward for you to come back soon',” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

The residents received bags of food items, courtesy of Jamaica National Group, and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) vouchers.

Up to yesterday morning, Jamaica had recorded 463 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and eight deaths. St Catherine continues to be the most affected with 278 cases.

Downswell, who has roots in Central Village, said he felt moved to help those who are living in impoverished situations.

“When I recognised that a lot of people were in need, I had to make myself available and connect with sponsors. A lot of people have been overlooked and forgotten, and some were so desperately in need that they looked like they couldn't survive another week,” he said.

“My mother has a church that serves Central Village [Glory Evangelistic Mission], so she was able to identify those who were really in need,” Downswell continued.

Saturday's outreach was not Downswell's first act of altruism. Last October he teamed up with Restaurants of Jamaica through its KFC brand to construct a new reading room and homework centre for the students of his alma mater, Ferris Primary School in Westmoreland.

The singer said more outreach initiatives are in the pipeline.

“There's still so much more to be done, and not just in Central Village. When we were leaving on Saturday, about 30 people were asking if we didn't have anything more. When I got home I called my wife and said that there is so much more that we need to do. What we were able to do was a drop in the bucket, but at least it was a start,” he said.

Downswell is known for songs including You Make Me Stronger, Lights, and If It's Not You.

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