Hanover priest laments large number of youth in need of remedial attention

Thursday, October 11, 2018

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LUCEA, Hanover - Rev Carl Clarke, the priest in charge of the St Philip and James Catholic Church in Lucea, Hanover, is bemoaning the number of youths in the parish who need remedial attention.

Rev Clarke, who stated that the church's mission is to evangelise, pointed out that during his ministry, he has observed that a high percentage of children in communities across the parish are unable to read.

“There are a lot of people and a lot of children who cannot read. Some are 15 and 16 (years old), and they can't read. Another thing I noticed, especially among the young men, is that some have dropped out of high school,” Rev Clarke informed.

“And so, one of the things that we have sought to have here at St Philip and James is to see how we can impact them. At St Philips and James, we started more than a year ago a remedial reading programme.

He added that in the community of Cave Valley, also in Hanover, where the church has established a homework centre, a number of the youths in the area too, are unable to read.

“We recognised that half of them don't know how to study, and they become restless. So, we created the environment for them, and they started fidgeting. It is really a chore to try to keep them in place so we are now in the process of teaching them how to study, because they are coming to the centre, but they don't know how to study,” Rev Clarke explained.

Stressing that the church is keen on working with those youths, Rev Clarke said “I don't look at where they are, I look at where we can bring them to. You know what, if we can work with them now, Superintendent (Sharon Beeput, officer in charge of the Hanover Police Division), you will have less thieves on your hands. You are going to have less scammers on your hand, so we want to save them; we want to rescue them, that's what we are about.”

Rev Clarke was addressing a handing over ceremony for a multi-purpose centre donated by Food For The Poor (FFP) last Thursday to the St Philip and James Catholic Church at Watson Taylor Park in Lucea.

The newly constructed facility, which includes an open communal space, computer laboratory, kitchen and bathroom, was funded mainly by Food For The Poor donors Peter Anninos and his family.

The centre is expected to assist the church in its community outreach activities, such as a feeding programme, as well as a remedial/homework programme. The building will also be used to host various meetings facilitated by the church.

An elated Anninos expressed satisfaction at the construction of the centre.

“The results speak for itself. The people are so elated, and I am as well, because I see the fruits of their labour prior to this, and I know that beyond this, with this tool (centre) that they have, there is going to be tremendous growth,” stated Anninos.

Anninos noted the facility is not the first donation by himself and his family to Food For The Poor.

According to him, over the years they have partnered with the charitable organisation in implementing several projects in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean.

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