Camille Hudson is highly appreciative of an award she received for her contribution in the areas of Welfare and Humanitarian Services in and around Linstead, St. Catherine.
“I feel honoured to know that persons have been taking note [of what I have been doing]; I feel real good,” she told The Beacon.
“My greatest joy is when I feed somebody, when I bathe somebody, when I clothe somebody, when I minister to somebody and see that sparkle in their eyes and hear the words ‘thank you’.”
Hudson collected the award during the annual ‘Linstead Black Togetherness’ celebration, held this year at Linstead Resource Centre. It was spearheaded by Gi-di-han Entertainment and One Life, in association with the Linstead Community Development Committee.
Hudson cut her teeth in volunteerism when she hosted Sunday School on her veranda when she lived at Deeside in Linstead.
After recognizing that a number of the children could not read properly, she commenced a reading programme with help from the then JAMAL (Jamaican Movement for the Advancement of Literacy).
While still teaching on her veranda, Hudson started working as a pre-trained teacher at Above Rocks Vocational Training Institute. She taught JAMAL-related lessons to people who were preparing to enroll in the government’s HEART skills-training programmes.
Hudson later became an adjunct lecturer at Moneague College and the Jamaica Theological Seminary, as well as a pre-trained teacher at Wakefield Primary and at Linstead Primary and Junior High School.
She served voluntarily as Secretary of the Parent-Teachers Association at Linstead Primary.
A certified mediator and Justice of the Peace, Hudson often volunteers with the Dispute Resolution Foundation and the Linstead Police. She volunteers as counsellor for juveniles who run afoul of the law and some students of Charlemont High School.
Hudson’s passion for volunteerism also resulted in her forging a strong bond with the Jamaica Red Cross, serving as Emergency Services Coordinator in the Linstead area, Emergency Services Coordinator for the parish of St. Catherine, and subsequently as National Relief Distribution Coordinator.
In the meantime, Hudson was employed to the Ministry of Local Government’s Board of Supervision, serving as Regional Manager for six parishes – Portland, St. Catherine, St. Ann, St. Mary, St. Thomas, as well as St. Andrew.
She is now Assistant Inspector of Poor with the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation. As part of her job, Hudson is the Homelessness Coordinator, who ensures that the needy, homeless and street people in St. Catherine are provided with meals, clothing and other basic necessities.
She stated that, through her lobbying, a drop-in centre is now being constructed for homeless people in and around Linstead.
She explained: “I did a proposal when I saw the number of persons that I know on Linstead street; I did a proposal and submitted it [to the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation]. The Corporation sent it to the Ministry [of Local Government], and we have a building going up in Linstead – almost finished now. It’s a drop-in centre for homeless persons.”
Hudson, who migrated to Linstead in 1993, is originally from the rural community of Gayle in St. Mary.
She attended Roach Hall Basic School, Goshen Primary, and Tacky High where she was Deputy Head Girl.
Hudson also studied at Northern Caribbean University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and a Masters of Science in Counselling Psychology. She, over the years, also completed various certificate courses.
Hudson, who told The Beacon that she was baptized at six years old, now worships at Royal Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church in Linstead.
She encouraged parents to ensure that they, among other things, teach their children the importance of sharing with others.
“Let them see you give,” she further advised. “Let it start from within the home; the home is where we get our first level of training. If we start it in the home, it will spread wide and far.”
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