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Transforming Lives

HIV

Thirty-eight-year-old Jennifer, a hairdresser and single mother of four, has been HIV-positive for 14 years. While she is now a strong activist and advocate for the HIV community, this was not always the case. In 1999, when she first learned of her positive status, she feared the stigma that the virus carried with it and, more importantly, the impact that it would have on her children’s lives and futures.

Orlando Scarlette practices his spelling with his Mother Blossom Rhoden.

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 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.

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Last updated: April 25, 2016

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