Mon | Oct 25, 2021

VPA presents care packages to Cassava Piece residents

Published:Friday | September 24, 2021 | 12:07 AM
Jonelle Llewellyn (left), research associate at the Violence Prevention Alliance, presents care packages to Julius Roye (second left), Leroy Thompson (second right) and O’Neal Beaver, residents of Cassava Piece. The donation of the care packages was one
Jonelle Llewellyn (left), research associate at the Violence Prevention Alliance, presents care packages to Julius Roye (second left), Leroy Thompson (second right) and O’Neal Beaver, residents of Cassava Piece. The donation of the care packages was one of the activities organised by the VPA to mark International Peace Day, which was observed under the theme, ‘Sustaining Communities for a Peaceful Country’.

SOME 50 residents of Cassava Piece in Kingston received care packages from the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) as part of its International Peace Day outreach activities.

Professor Elizabeth Ward, chair of the VPA, said the delivery of the care packages is part of the ongoing work being done with the community which commenced some three years ago.

“The community members identified that elderly persons in the community are in need and that it would be good to give them some support, and that there are children in these homes who would also benefit,” she pointed out.

The care packages included basic food items such as flour, sugar, rice and tin food; toiletries, reading books for children and masks. The donation was in collaboration with the Council of Voluntary Social Services and GraceKennedy Group.

Leroy Thompson, one of the residents who received care packages, expressed gratitude for the gesture. “This has been a blessing for me and it came during a time of need,” he said, noting that the pandemic has been very distressing as he was also grieving from the death of close friends.

For Julius Roye, the package is a blessing and will go a far way in assisting in preparing meals for his family.

“These packages are meaningful and will assist many. The pandemic has taken a toll on the community, especially the elderly who are in need of many necessities, and this could not come at a better time, and this will help to maintain them for a while,” said Oneil Morrison, a young man from the community who is also integral in peace building.

Meanwhile, Morrison commended the work being done by the VPA which, he said, has assisted in quelling the violence in the community.“The peace-building activities initiated in the community have assisted in improving the characters of persons in the community. We have a lot of activities that engage children and the wider community. This has assisted in the breakdown of barriers and assisted them in addressing conflicts in a peaceful manner,” he informed.

International Peace Day was observed on Tuesday, September 21 under the local theme ‘Sustaining Communities for a Peaceful Country’. A number of virtual activities were held to commemorate the day. The VPA in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the Early Childhood Commission, among other entities, encouraged children to write Peace Day letters.

The activity is aimed at reinforcing the message of peace as the cornerstone of the nation’s development as it realises the goal of unity for all. These letters will be published in the local newspapers and shared on social media platforms of the VPA and its partners.