Fri | Feb 21, 2020

No merry Christmas for Clifton boys - New home won’t be ready in time for holidays

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 12:11 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Hartley Perrin
Hartley Perrin

WESTERN BUREAU:

It will not be a merry Christmas for the 26 wards of the Clifton Boys’ Home in Darliston, Westmoreland, as a funding crunch has derailed plans to have accommodation there ready for the Yuletide season.

“There is absolutely no ... hope of moving in this Christmas. The 2019 Christmas target is out because we don’t even have a roof yet,” said the Reverend Hartley Perrin, custos of Westmoreland and chairman of the Clifton Boys’ Home.

The facility was destroyed by fire in January 2017.

Reconstruction funding donated by non-governmental organisations has been almost depleted, Perrin told The Gleaner.

“We have come to another stall in the construction process because the funds have dwindled again, and we have not gotten any injection from the Government,” said Perrin.

Clifton, which was established in 1961, is one of three children’s homes operated by the Anglican Church in Jamaica.

With Clifton now out of service, Perrin said that their current living conditions are far from ideal.

“There are no facilities for playing … . They are cramped in the temporary housing arrangement,” the chairman told The Gleaner.

Perrin said that the prospect of not moving into the facility would rob the children of holiday merriment.

“Christmas won’t be as merry for these boys. We were hoping that it would have been merrier, but it will be Christmas nonetheless, and they will have to find a way to make it merry,” said Perrin.

Many good Samaritans have been coming to the assistance of the Clifton Boys’ Home Rebuilding Project, but pledges have not measured up to expectations. However, come next year, the drive will be intensified.

“Guardian Life has promised that they will be donating $500,000 in January, and we have another promise from Sagicor that part of the proceeds from their annual Sagicor Sigma Fun Run will be donated towards the rebuilding,” said Perrin.

On December 6, comedian and motivational speaker Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis embarked on his first philanthropic endeavour towards the home in a project dubbed ‘Charity and Cheer’. Proceeds were slated to be channelled to the home.

“We’re spreading cheer through comedy and laughter. The boys have already been through so much, so we want to not only give back with the proceeds from the fundraiser, but also, we want persons in attendance to be a part of a do-good event and a feel-good event,” said Ellis.

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