Sat | Jan 28, 2023

Kiwanis Club supports enterprise efforts of single mothers

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 12:51 AMRasbert Turner/Gleaner Writer
 Samuel Jones of Caribbean Broilers speaks with Shanice Heslop, one of the recipients of donations from the group.
Samuel Jones of Caribbean Broilers speaks with Shanice Heslop, one of the recipients of donations from the group.
Sydonnie Gyles, president  of the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals lifts a bag of Nutramix feed at the Single Mothers Programme presentation in St Catherine on Sunday, January 22.
Sydonnie Gyles, president of the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals lifts a bag of Nutramix feed at the Single Mothers Programme presentation in St Catherine on Sunday, January 22.
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The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a blow to Althea Neil, putting a halt to her poultry-rearing business and limiting her ability to properly care for her family.

However, she received much-needed help through the outreach of the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals’ Single Mother Empowerment Programme, at a presentation event held on January 22 at the Eltham Park Primary School in Gordon Pen, St Catherine.

A mother of four, Neil was among five Gordon Pen residents who received donations of 50 chickens as part of the Kiwanis Club’s social economic initiative.

“This is a very good deed that the Kiwanis Club and the sponsors have done, giving me some help to restart, as things are very difficult as a single mother with no help,” Neil said. “The pandemic, plus not getting help from anyone, made it hard. So, I am thankful for the assistance, and I will be working hard to keep the business turning.”

The club assisted each of the five mothers with the stock of baby chicks and a bag of feed, courtesy of the Caribbean Broilers group.

President of the club, Sydonnie Gyles, said that following the selection process, Caribbean Broilers was approached for donations of feed and the chicks.

Assistance Manager of Caribbean Broilers Samuels Jones said the company was pleased to assist in the development of communities surrounding its operations.

“When the Kiwanis Club called for assistance to single mothers, we were ready to give the requisite support,” Jones said.

Gyles underscored the value of the project, especially to under-resourced parents.

“We know that most of these persons (mothers) just need a little help and small poultry farming came to mind,” Gyles said.

“In addition to two scholarships tenable at HEART/ NST, we also provided care packages and facilitated health checks for those in attendance.”

She said the initiative was the third for the three-year-old club, which conducted similar activities in the Ellerslie Pen and Clifton communities.

Juanita Hunter, guidance and counselling education officer for Region 6 in the Ministry of Education, said the initiative was commendable.

“We just need to have you parents positively impacting the lives of the children on a sustainable basis. Let them know that with education and dedication to details, they can achieve greatness,” Hunter said.