St. Patrick's Foundation
St. Patrick’s Foundation embarks on bold training programme
Empowering inner city youth through skills training
The St. Patrick’s Foundation was founded in 1994 and operates as a training institute, focused on cosmetology, food preparation, customer service and electrical engineering. Over the years, they have refined their focus and strategy in order to become more effective and relevant, placing greater emphasis on training and empowerment for the residents in the communities they serve. One of those communities is Seaview Gardens where fifty percent of the population is under 30 years old and a large number of them unemployed.
In 2014 the Digicel Foundation was approached to provide funding support to fully equip the Cosmetology Lab and partially equip the Cake Baking and Decorating Department.
With the aim of improving programme delivery and increasing enrolment, Digicel Foundation approved a grant of J$2.9 and the results have been extraordinary. With fully equipped facilities students have been pouring in get the hands on, technical training needed to propel their professional endeavors.
Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Foundation Board, Mrs. Hermine Metcalf said, “[w]e serve in a number of inner city communities and we find that it is very difficult to inspire youth to excel if they can’t see examples of excellence. That’s why we needed state of the art facilities.” While presenting a plaque to the Foundation, she continued, “When students come to school they are almost transported out of their circumstance into their true potential.”
In February 2016 Day St. Patrick’s Foundation hosted their first Open House since their refurbishing and expansion, demonstrating the skill and talent of their students while offering services to the community at reduced rates.
Social Enterprise and Special Projects Manager at Digicel Foundation, Mrs. Patrice Smith-Sterling emphasized, “[w]hen we invest in community projects we look for the impact on the community. We ask for enterprises to demonstrate how they will positively impact the life those around them. It is about more than generating profit for an individual or group of individuals. It is about building communities.”
Since inception in 2004, Digicel Jamaica Foundation has invested over US$6.4 million in community development projects impacting over 200,000 Jamaicans.