Throughout our years in Jamaica, we have partnered with civic
Following a grant from Digicel Foundation Jamaica, we were able to purchase an amazing, though pretty old house, on half an acre, within sight and sound of the sea in Yallahs. The children
re-namied it, The Oasis.
We moved in January 2015, continuing our residential care of 7 youngsters and making room for a young family in need of refuge.
Additionally, we have welcomed an additional 7 others in need of emergency or short term placement.
With four teens over 18yrs we set up a transitioning unit for them in a rented house nearby.
The Oasis is currently home to two teens 16 yrs and 17yrs, who will be moving into the transitioning unit over the next two years. The emptying rooms and bathrooms are being refurbished as funds permit, to be fully accessible and become Iris Lodge which currently has two yong women in residence
Iris Lodge was created out of the need to find post 18 care for one of our wards who has significant intelectual disabilities and functions well with supervision and support. Having been assessed with emotional, educational and cognitive levels below 9yrs old she required constant supervision to remain safe. There are no government or private facilities and only one NGO, Mustard Seed Communities, which has a waiting list of it's own post 18yrs residents. The options normally open to those leaving children's homes and foster care are a) return to the families and communities that failed to keep them safe, b) the parish infirmary or homeless shelter c) the streets all of the above options leave them open to exploitation and abuse.
We decided, not on our watch!!! Inspired by Mustard Seed's ethos of "no child abandoned twice", Iris Lodge is our option.
At Iris Lodge, our young women will have a safe forever home, within the community, assisted by trained support workers enabled to live "ordinary lives" with access to income genrating skills on site.