You can be part of our Franciscan Outreach in Jamaica!
The friars in Jamaica are focusing on education, healthcare, and community building with ministries such as St. Anthony’s Kitchen, Get Kids to School, and more.
“We are the only chance some of these kids will ever have of rising above poverty,” says Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, who currently serves in Jamaica with Fr. Colin King, OFM.
Here’s a look at some of the life-saving programs and ministries you have made possible—and continue to help expand with your generosity:
St. Anthony’s Kitchen in Negril opened in 2010 to feed the hungry poor. This busy little place now provides lunch to about 120 people a day! In addition, 60 students come by for breakfast before heading off to school each morning.
The Get Kids to School (GKTS) program is fully sponsoring 160 children, assisting families in making it possible for their kids to attend school every day. This includes help with transportation, lunch money, uniforms, school supplies, fees, breakfast, and more. We are proud to announce that two GKTS alums have graduated college and are working on master’s degrees, two are in college, and two are in nursing school thanks to GKTS+, a program enabling gifted students from poor circumstances to go to college!
Additionally, a medical and dental clinic has been established to provide basic healthcare and prescription medication in the rural area of Revival. “There is no medical presence in the small settlement of Revival,” explains Fr. Colin King, who spearheaded the project. “It’s a 30-minute drive by car to the nearest medical facility and a 45-minute drive to the hospital in Savanna-la-mar—and that’s if people can even find and afford a taxi for transportation.”
The latest project currently in the works is building an infant school in Revival. The proposed school will provide three- to six-year-old children with an early childhood Catholic education and strong moral values. The facility will be well-equipped and modern, which in Revival means that there will be electricity and indoor restrooms. Lunch will also be provided, which could be the only real meal of the day for many of the children.
Fortunately, the support coming our way continues to grow. Our work among the poor is totally dependent upon the kindness and generosity of our benefactors. We thank God every day for what we are able to do because of you—and we do a lot!
To support the friars in Jamaica, you can make a donation here on our website and choose “Missions” in the drop-down bar and write “Jamaica” in the comment section.
Fr. Jim Bok and Fr. Colin King explain more about their vital work in this video: