Two weeks after the community meeting, on Monday May 24th, the ‘Labour Day Clean Up’ took place. More than 25 people, young men, elders, mothers and some children came together to let words become action.
It was a joy to see so many people supporting the project and a surprise, as the joined operation of army and police in Tivoli Garden just started the night before, and Jamaica held on its breath, fearful of what would happen happen.
We called our co-worker in Jamaica in the morning on Labour Day to discuss whether to postpone the clean up date or not – but the people from the community had already started with the work. They cleaned the compound to all corners and fences, levelled the land, got out the rubbish, cleaned the building and raked the complete site.
The community involvement was way beyond expectations and the day was a full success until the shootings started to spread over Kingston and reached Mannings Hill Road in the evening hours (located just a few hundred meters away from our compound) in the afternoon. Worried by the sound of the gunshots the people quickly made their way back home.
The Labour Day project was a fantastic and very successful start into the project of establishing our education center, despite the sad and tragic circumstances in which it took place.
Many expressed their feelings that they feel proud and good to be involved in such positive activities for the future of the children of Cassava Piece on that tragic day. “Brighter days we need for the future of the children, for a better Jamaica!”
We are deeply thankful for the commitment the community showed, this again strengthens our faith that we are on the right path with the project.