Students Crossing Borders has had a long-standing relationship with the community particularly with Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Development Center, a basic school serving children aged 2 to 6 years. The founder of our organization, Fintan Kilbride, spent many years since 1991 cultivating a relationship of trust until his death in 2006, and over the last 7 years, under the leadership of the late Lynn Caruso, that relationship branched out into many other areas of the community. Junior Rowe, Principal of the basic school has been an integral member of the Students Crossing Borders team, taking on the responsibility for managing funds that support the Reading Room and Homework Center, The Lynn Caruso Parent Child Drop In Centre, The Inter-Community Youth and Adult Council, grant management and the management of the school sponsorship program which currently supports approximately 65 children and young adults.
Mustard Seed Communities
Mustard Seed Communities is a large Catholic organization with a strong presence all over the island. It was founded by Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon and has 12 centres across the island. We have worked in many of those sites but focus primarily on their homes for orphaned and abandoned children living with HIV/AIDS. There are three such homes, Matthew 25, Martha’s House and Dare to Care. The latter two are located in Spanish Town, 15 minutes west of Kingston. The homes are part of a large compound called Jerusalem! which is also home to The Little Angels School, an egg farm, fish farm, plant nurseries, goats and sheep raising, a church, a home for children and adults with physical and developmental special needs, a physiotherapy clinic, semi-independent living community for high-functioning young adults with physical and developmental special needs and one of our largest projects, the Jerusalem Developmental Play Centre.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace
The Dominican Sisters of Peace are a Catholic organization based out of Columbus, Ohio. We first met our main contact, Sister Gene Poore, in 2010 in Jamaica and she took an immediate interest in the work we do and our approach. She then initiated a partnership between us and acquired a $100 000 grant through CHI (Catholic Health Initiatives). This grant is primarily focused on youth leadership and empowerment. Details of the grant are found in the body of the report. Once annually SCB representatives travel to Ohio to meet with the Dominican Sisters of Peace and provide an activity report.
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
In 2005, Lynn Caruso partnered SCB with Seneca College’s Faculty of ECE for the first time. This partnership has been bringing ECE students to Jamaica every year since and providing them with excellent field experience, 40 hours of placement time and most importantly it brings skilled ECE into the community to contribute towards much needed children’s programs.