Twelve-year-old Orlando Scarlette sounds out each word and reads his book with confidence. You can see the big, bright smile on his face. He is proud of himself because he can read.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last updated: January 14, 2016