Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Romaine Morris: On a mission ... to improve Mocho

Published:Thursday | August 25, 2016 | 8:17 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
Romaine Morris, volunteer extraordinaire.

MOCHO, Clarendon:

Twenty-six-year-old Romaine Morris is all about putting his community, Mocho, back on the map through his charitable acts.A past student of Denbigh High School, he has been implementing successful projects in Mocho for the last five years.

Morris' first project was erecting street signs nine to be exact in his community as he said it gave residents a sense of identity.

"I also believed these are basic infrastructure needed for development to take place in my community, as people will no longer see Mocho as a place they come to get lost, but as a cool-out spot or maybe come to start a family or even retire," said Morris of his community.

He hosted a drive recently which saw about 85 shuts-ins and elderly being treated to bun and cheese.

Morris, who is employed to the Clarendon Health Department, uses the opportunity to invite doctors and nurses to the community to conduct various health checks.

"This was well needed as a lot of people didn't have their medical checks done because of financial challenges to travel to health centres," Morris told Rural Xpress.

As the children in his community get ready for a new school year, parents are thankful for Morris' intervention as through fundraising and donations he was able to garner well-needed school supplies for the students.

In addition to that, he invited doctors and nurses to the community in order for the students to get their medical and dental checks done. The move saw over 150 students benefiting.

One wonders where Morris finds the time in between work and executing those projects to also make time to assist farmers in his community.

"Through my involvement in Farmers' Society, I was able to secure farm supplies for some 50 farmers in the community. This project has been going on for the past two years," he said.

 

Youth empowerment

 

Morris said his involvement is not about good name or to receive praise, but rather to empower the youth, noting that they will be the ones to further develop the community.

"So through the Sugar Transformational Fund, I was about to get more than 200-plus youth enrolled in skill training with full sponsorship, as well as managed to get students to go back to school on my Second Chance Programme, with some 25 youth getting a second chance to sit their CXCs, this project is going on for the past two years," informed Morris.

His list of community projects and involvement also included medical equipment donation to Lennon High School to combat the increase in asthma attacks at school.

Commenting on his spirit of voluntarism, Morris said it was influenced by two things - watching a Jamaica Information Service feature on different people doing work in their communities and having senior medical doctor at the May Pen Hospital, Dr Bradley Edwards, as a mentor.

 

Need for intervention

 

"That's when it hit me that my community needs to have something like this and also, I saw the need for my intervention as the community is a farming one," he shared about the catalyst for his involvement in assisting the community and its farmers.

After seeing how much his help was appreciated when he first reached out, Morris said it was easier to continue.

"What fuels me is whenever I see persons using my help and making it into something even greater, it just makes me want to do more each time. Also, my family is from the community, so it's like my way of giving back. And even though I am not a wealthy man, I happen to know people who are in my circles and are willing and able to help, so I take advantage," he said.

Going forward, Morris said his ultimate dream is to see Mocho on the map like 'Red Hills to Kingston' and to see Mocho take over as the capital of Clarendon.

"I see Mocho as raw material just ready to be madee into something great. The people, along with myself, are hungry for this," said the Governor General 2015 I Believe ambassador.

rural@gleanerjm.com