THE JACQUES Road homework and computer centres in Mountain View, St Andrew, received some much-needed upgrade on the weekend, courtesy of some 40 sailors from the Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Preserver Protecteur-class ship.
The team was also supported by 19 volunteers from the international development organisation, Cuso International and the Jamaica Defence Force.
The sailors, who were in Jamaica for the weekend, took a day to paint, repair and add new windows, bookshelves and electrical installations to the facilities.
President of the Jacques Road Parenting Association, Ann-Marie Lynch, said the assistance came at an opportune time, as the centres were struggling to find enough funds to carry out necessary repairs.
"I prayed for this day. We were trying to collect (funds) to repair the windows and doors, and most of the work we had to do ourselves. So I am happy and grateful," Lynch said.
caters to parents as well
She added that the homework centre, which also operates as a parenting centre, caters to more than 200 students and 100 parents from surrounding communities in the once-volatile Mountain View area.
Executive director of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Georgia Lewis Scott, said the parenting and homework centre has played a critical role in bringing peace and stability to the once-troubled community.
"The centre caters to the various districts in Mountain View and acts as a space where residents can come and get parenting education and deal with a number of other issues such as family and community relations," she said.
The Canadian High Commissioner Robert Ready, who was on hand working with the soldiers, said his organisation got onboard when Cuso International asked for their assistance.
"This is something that comes out of the Preserver's internal budget. They have some resources set aside for community service, and they make it available to worthy projects when they make a port visit," he said.