Rotary wives help St Patrick's Foundation
Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The Inner Wheel Club of Kingston, in partnership with the St Patrick's Foundation, recently refurbished the garment department at the St Margaret's Resource Centre by tiling and providing tools and teaching material for its more than 200 students.
Marcia Francis, president of the club, said it is customary for the club to select a project for the one-year term of each president. Francis indicated that for her tenure, she wanted to do something that involved skills training, and in particular of young people.
"After visiting and meeting with the various managers, I chose to work with the St Margaret's centre. Their needs fitted my plans nicely and were achievable during my year in office," Francis said.
The St Margaret's Human Resource Centre serves young people aged 10 and upwards within the Olympic Gardens community. The students are taught remedial classes and skills training that include electrical installation, woodwork and garment construction.
Marcia McLeod, general manager of the St Patrick's Foundation, said the centre caters primarily to students who are slow learners in the regular school system with the aim of getting them back into traditional high schools. If the students do not attain the standard, they are sent into the skills area.
"Our students get high-quality training. The fact that we are in the inner city does not mean that we have to be confined. When our students enter the work environment, they are well equipped and function effectively in their specific area of training," McLeod said.
McLeod indicated that they are in the process of modernising the garment centre. With the support from the Inner Wheel Club of Kingston they have been able to achieve some of their objectives; however, they will be moving to get more modernised equipment and replacing old windows.
Monsignor Richard Albert, founder of St Patrick's Foundation and whose vision is to enable "at risk" youth in the inner city communities to develop into persons capable of providing for themselves, was also present.
"The work done by the Inner Wheel Club of Kingston has lifted the spirit of the students, as they see that people are interested in their progress and care about them," Msgr Albert said.
Inner Wheel clubs are operated by the wives of Rotarians; they combine to help their husbands with projects and social-service work undertaken as Rotarians.
CAPTION: Dwayne Reid (left), student of the St Margaret's Human Resource Centre, shows a basket made by him and other students of the centre to Marcia Francis (centre), president of the Inner Wheel Club of Kingston, Valrie Moodie (second right), member of the club, and Suzanne Smith (right), manager for the centre, under the watchful eyes of Beverly Davis (second left), a teacher at the centre. Occasion was a plaque unveiling ceremony at the St Margaret's Human Resource Centre yesterday. - Ian Allen/Photographer