The Baileys : Committed to service
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Albert Bailey's vision for the community of Canaan Heights where he grew up has been embraced by his daughter and now his grandchildren.
Rural Xpress caught up with Bailey and his daughter Sarah, an attorney-at-law.
Sarah, who also grew up in the community, said she was inspired by watching her father being involved in the Community Development Committee (CDC), his role in the homework centre and also in mentoring other youth in the area.
"We both as parents (wife Thelma) provided guidance for them and showed them the value of voluntarism. We also ensured we counselled them and monitored their activities," shared Bailey, as his daughter smiled, acknowledging that growing up, she and her siblings were not allowed to leave the house unless they had business to do on the road.
"We also didn't have any cable television as my father thought it was a distraction," said Sarah, who is a past student of Glenmuir High.
Bailey is now a member of the Canaan Heights CDC, the benevolent society which was formed by her father and the police youth club in the community.
"I love to give as well as to help others. Our vision - my family and myself to see Canaan Heights become a place where anyone will feel comfortable coming," she said.
That dream is not far away as last year, the once hot community was the least on the police radar.
Currently, the family is now throwing its energy behind the various interventions happening in the community, as the Jamaica Social Investment Fund has implemented a programme there, including hiring community members to act as environmental wardens.
"They have given free training to some of the youth in the community and the Citizens' Security Justice Programme also had a scholarship internship programme there," said Bailey.
Presently, Sarah is trying to revive the police youth club as she noted that most of the original members have moved out of the community to pursue further studies.
"We are trying to rebuild to get younger persons more involved," she said, even as she extended the offer for more persons to be involved with the homework programme.
Where the father-daughter team is concerned, Sarah said she is happy to be working alongside him as it makes her feel good.
Bailey, who is the father of nine children, said it makes his heart proud to see the tradition of serving others living on.