Kemp Road Children Get Back to School Support

Friday 27th, August 2010 / 10:19 Published by

School supplies distribution Students wait patiently to collect their packaged school bags and get a small lunch with ice cream, as part of the treat for participating in the summer activities (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

Nassau, The Bahamas — Kemp Road children crowded the Church of God of Prophecy on Shirley Street August 25 to collect their Back to School packages and enjoy a free lunch with ice cream.

The children that participated in the Urban Renewal Summer Camp got first preference, and the ones that didn’t come, had to wait to see what was left over.

“We basically capped our summer programme with a back to school giveaway.

We had an energetic, fun filled summer and now we are toning down and we’re trying to get the kids to get serious and focus on going back to school,” said Kolamae Pedican, manager for the Kemp Road Urban Renewal Centre.

“This year we had at least a hundred and ten children that participated in the camp.

We have a limited staff at the centre so we depend heavily on the support of parents in the community.”

Kemp Road Urban Renewal has attracted a wealth of support from corporate sponsors, area churches, and residents of the Kemp Road community. “Colina Imperial is one of our sponsors and the Rotary Club, too of course, but we didn’t do a lot of soliciting this year.

Basically, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development provided for our back to school giveaway,” said Mrs. Pedican.

“Our back to school programme will be an ongoing service because of its success in the Kemp Road area.

A lot of our kids did not come out today because the weather looks like it will rain.

Whoever comes to the centre, we will make sure they get bags.”

Kemp Road is a tight-knitted and family-oriented community with a mixed population of single mothers, married couples, and grandparents raising grandchildren, all supporting the activities of the centre.

“All of the kids you see here, their parents and guardians have signed applications with their consent for the children to participate in the centre’s activities,” said Mrs. Pedican.

“The parents come to meetings and participate in other programmes, usually about 30 to 40 will come out.

Even though we were low keyed today, we do have the continual community support.

We have a limited staff at Kemp Road Urban Renewal so we depend on our volunteers and our parents to assist us.”

The main challenges the Kemp Road centre faces is helping people provide safe and adequate housing for their children, and feeding their children breakfast and lunch during the day.

The children also lack overall supervision from home and get most of it from the centre.

“I am really asking parents to take more participation in supervising their kids year round.

We will be assisting them in terms of after-school programmes, activities, and things to keep the children occupied,” said Mrs. Pedican.

The Kemp Road area struggles with housing problems and the centre tries to drum up support for house repairs amongst corporate sponsors and other areas in the community.

They are particularly looking to remove outhouses in the area.

“We are hoping that with the government’s help and corporate sponsors, we will address outhouses.

We have been moving slowly but it is high on our agenda.

The alleviation of poverty across the board is one of the top priorities of Urban Renewal,” said Mrs. Pedican.

By Gena Gibbs
Bahamas Information Services

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