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Transforming Lives

The on-site aquaponics unit at the Metcalf Juvenile Remand Center.

The first view of the Metcalfe Juvenile Remand Center, a “holding facility” for young male offenders who will be brought before the courts for criminal offenses, is not encouraging. Located in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, it is secured by a 50-foot-tall gate with metal facing, topped with rolled barbed wire, and at least five armed security guards circle the entrance. Inside, young boys between the ages of 12 and 17 attend to various duties.

Students perform at ceremony

Jamaica has always been vulnerable to extreme weather such as drought and hurricanes, but many people do not make a direct link with climate change. Over the past decade, Jamaica experienced nine natural disasters causing damages estimated at $1.4 billion.

Jerome presents at conference

Aug. 2014—Jerome Cowan made a decision to do better for himself—better than what was expected for someone growing up in his neighborhood, Parade Gardens, one of Jamaica’s most violent communities.

Community-based policing project

Paulette Simpson vividly remembers the days of terror. With a grimace, she recalls one of her darkest moments—when she was bombarded with the piercing sounds of gun shots, the shrieking of women and children, and the smell of blood filling the air in her small community of Gravel Heights, in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

Dewdney Scott, right, prepares for Literature Circle Discussion with other students in the Fast Track Program in Kingston

Dewdney Scott has always dreamed of teaching film and drama to deaf children. This is an ambitious goal, especially since Dewdney himself is deaf. In order to get into teachers’ college, he needed to pass Jamaica’s standard college entrance exams. Dewdney took the exams each year for ten years, but failed each time.

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Last updated: December 03, 2014

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