Community Focus: Group working wonders with phones in St Ann

They are scattered far and wide, and are yet to convene a face-to-face meeting.

The natives of Hinds Town in the Ocho Rios area of St Ann, however, have been working wonders together in their community – something they do on their phones through WhatsApp.

They are now part of a group called Hinds Town United Hands Association, which was founded in June of this year by Marsha Gordon, who lives in the United States. The group, however, is headed by the Chairman – Bethan Gayle.

“All meetings we have are through our WhatsApp group; quite a few members of the group are overseas,” Gayle told The Beacon, adding that WhatsApp has been an effective means of communicating.

“It has been effective… We have a few persons who we call our exec; those persons do the ground work here [in Jamaica] – ground work such as collect money and buy things.”

The local executive meets via WhatsApp at 7PM on Mondays; the bigger group convenes its meetings online on Sundays.

Gayle explained that the group was formed to help Hinds Town Basic School improve physically in order to become certified.

“There were things that were needed in order to get the basic school certified – such as a mesh door for the kitchen, a refrigerator, and a section was to be graded off for a play area. We have done that,” she said.

The association, this month, gave the basic school a refrigerator, purchased with funds raised during a Gospel concert in the community. The gift will benefit nearly 20 children at the school.

Gayle told The Beacon that the school is yet to be certified, adding that the process takes some time.

She further said, now that the group’s initial purpose regarding the basic school has been fulfilled, the group has switched its attention to other areas of community development.

“For the first time in Hinds Town’s history, we had summer classes for two weeks where each child got free lunch donated by this association,” Gayle said, adding that the group will next host a fundraiser in December to undertake work on Hinds Town Community Centre.

Gayle noted that the group has managed to remain active due to the sterling contribution being made by its members, now numbering 44.


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