Adventist youth initiative offers educational grants and free healthcare in Central Jamaica

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April 16, 2019
/ Manchester, Jamaica
/ Damian Chambers/JAMU/IAD News Staff


Adventist youth initiative offers educational grants and free healthcare in Central JamaicaPastor Levi Johnson (right), president of Central Jamaica, addresses the gathering during the presentation of the $50,000.00 grant to one of the OSAY educational grant awardee Reyshena Brown of Magotty High School, in Comfort Hall, Manchester, Jamaica, Mar. 17, 2019. Dr. Clifton Knight (left), education director of Central Jamaica and Pastor Dane Fletcher, youth ministries director for the church in Jamaica as well as Pastor Billy Watson, Treasurer of Central Jamaica. [Photo Credit: Andrew Johnson]

Twenty students received grants as part of the overall free medical and physical work undertaken by approximately 5,000 young people during the annual Operation Save-a-Youth (OSAY) held on March 17, 2019, in Manchester, Jamaica.  OSAY is a youth empowerment ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Central Jamaica region.

The main feature of this year’s OSAY was the community outreach projects where the youth assisted in the construction and beautification of homes in communities such as Colleyville, Victoria Town, Comfort Hall, Newport, Porus and Spur Tree.

Young people helped fix Carl Siddon’s one-bedroom broken down home that he shares with his wife and three children. Another notable project was refurbishing a one-bedroom home for a family of five in Porus, Manchester.

“I am very grateful for the help we have received,” said Siddon. “I am giving thanks because, on my own, I would not be able to accomplish what was done for me by OSAY.”

OSAY is not only about service to the community, but since 2016 is also about empowerment through educational grants, organizers said.

According to Pastor Kevan Barnaby, youth ministries director of the church’s central region, the 20 young people, ages 13-25, who attend university, high schools and colleges received grants this year. The educational grants total approximately $385.00 US dollars (or $50,000 Jamaican currency). To qualify for a grant, each young person had to write 300 words, expressing why they deserved the educational assistance as well as  provide proof that they are attending school.”

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