OSAY reclaiming youths, one life at a time
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Approximately 5,000 young people from the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (CJC), which covers the parishes of Manchester, St Catherine and Clarendon, converged in the parish to carry out acts of kindness through various projects on Sunday (March 16).
The initiative, called Operation Save A Youth (OSAY), had its fourth staging in the parish of Manchester and saw projects from street cleaning, to the refurbishing and building of houses for the less fortunate, debushing roadways, painting facilities and building ramps for the blind.
Pastor Kevan Barnaby, youth ministries director at CJC, under whose department OSAY falls, told Family & Religion that over 80 projects were completed throughout the parish of Manchester.
“We mobilize young people inside and outside of the church to be actively involved in community outreach and community impact. We also had hundreds of young people who were today certified as barbers and cosmetologist by the career coaches at HEART.”
With the programme costing about $10 million to run smoothly, Pastor Barnaby gave credit to each participant who donated $1,000, and all the sponsors that came on board.
“We hope it will get bigger and bigger. The young people are fired up and are passionate about community welfare, improving the lives of the less fortunate.
We want to keep our young people active. If we have them there just sitting in the church, we would not be helping them to fulfil the mandate of Jesus Christ.”
Not only were the young people actively involved in the giving back process, but 20 recipients across six secondary and tertiary institutions were privileged to receive grants valued at $50,000 each.
Additionally, for the first time ever, there was a health expo, with just under 200 individuals benefitting from that component.
Director of communications, health ministries and assistant to the president in charge of evangelism at CJC, Pastor Damian Chambers, revealed, “We offered free medical and dental services: HIV testing, pap smear, other checkups and dental cleaning at the health clinic.
On the health expo side, we had persons going through and being educated on the eight laws of health and we are referring to NEWSTART (nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest and trust in God).
We had a professional chef doing cooking demonstrations, and beside our nutrition station, we had a farmers’ market.
“Each person at the start of the rounds received a registration sheet where their vitals were recorded and their health and age were disclosed, meaning, they would be told at what level their body is operating at.
“We had three medical mobile units partnering with us: Braeton SDA mobile unit from Portmore; the HYPE medical unit from the Jamaica Union Conference; and we had the Three Angels Pharmacy.
“We had the Ministry of Health onboard with the Jamaica Moves.
“We find that this is a big component of impacting lives.
People were challenged about their health habits and they now have more information to go and live healthily.”
OSAY culminated its outreach with a grand gospel concert in the Mandeville Park.