Shanique Samuels, Gleaner Writer
CHAPELTON, Clarendon:A HOME like no other best describes St Monica's Home for Children.
Perched atop a hill surrounded by thick, green vegetation, St Monica's is located approximately one mile out of Chapelton, Clarendon. It opened its doors 60 years ago to children ages four to 18 who are in need of care and protection. Since then, the facility has been expanded to accommodate the growing needs of the home.
St Monica's Children's Home is the only one of its kind in Clarendon that seeks to satisfy the basic, social and psychological needs of its children.
This co-educational facility has the capacity to hold up to 24 children. Sited on 50 acres of land, the home currently houses staff and children in a building that once served as a rectory for St Paul's Church over a century ago.
Forty-one years as superintendent of the home, Sister Myrel Moss has given her time and efforts selflessly to those she serves.
"Everything rests on me. I have to be the driving force," she said smiling, "but I do have help to assist with nurturing and caring for the children."
"This is home. The children go to school for the academics, but here, it's all about the social graces," she said beaming.
Sister Moss went on to say that "a lot of people have really bad misconceptions about homes, and sometimes, the children are stereotyped and labelled as a 'homzie', but this is home with much emphasis, not like a children's home or place of safety. We try to make it less of an institution and more like a home, and the children know it's their home," Sister Moss told Rural Xpress.
The well-kept lawns and the mansion-like castle is evidence of the home she so proudly boasts about.
The facility is one of three children's homes owned by the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica. Its brother and sister homes, Clifton and Wortley, respectively, are both located in Westmoreland.