On March 9, 2023, the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, in partnership with the University District Rotary Club (UDRC) of Seattle, Washington, Rotary International and other partners, handed over a new solar-powered well water system. The system is the first step in developing potable water for the area. The football/cricket field receives water through the installed irrigation system.
The well water system is named after the founder of Boys’ Town, Father Hugh Sherlock. Patrons from as far as Washington State in the United States ensured their presence for the dedication. Emotional speeches and spiritually led anecdotes flowed freely as patrons expressed the importance of Boys’ Town in their lives.
The second stage of the Well project will provide potable water to serve over 3,000 individuals daily. The Primary & Infant School HEART Programme (Vocational training programme) will receive water because of this system. Subsequently, sports, agricultural and landscaping (irrigation water), cultural, and other educational and club activities will receive water through this system.
Corporate Jamaica provided much-needed technical, financial, and emotional support to the project. Some companies that assisted are Can-Cara, Rotary International, the Rotary Foundation, Friends of Jamaica, and Seattle (FOJS). Also on board are the CHASE Fund, the CB Facey Foundation, the Office of Member of Parliament for South St. Andrew (Mark Golding), and the Bob Marley Foundation have identified the redevelopment of the Boys’ Town Well as an important and significant project to support the work at Boys’ Town.
From The People’s Hearts
We spoke with two attendants to understand how they saw this accomplishment. The director at Boys’ Town, Lyndel Wright, showed emphatic support for this project. “Boys’ Town is the centre of peace. Boys’ Town is an inspiration from God through our founder and director, Father Hugh Sherlock. It is wonderful that today, the handing over to the “Father Sherlock” well reminds me of the scripture Jacob’s well. Boys’ Town will always have fruit now that there is water. Water is life. We give God thanks to the Rotary clubs that they can come along and partner with us. We couldn’t afford to maintain what we had because we didn’t have the finances to do that. God has made a provision for us. [The partners] come along, and here we are today. Water is life.
Charles Reid, Solar manager at Konnexx Services Limited, wanted to add his voice to the project. “From the first indication that we had a potential project, it was a straight ‘Yes’ from our CEO. We are big on renewable energy. Most people would know Konnexx from Telecom, but we are and have been in the solar space. So, Boys’ Town community development [and] rich history. That’s what Konnexx is about. Brand Jamaica.”
Boys’ Town was established in 1940 as a partnership with the Government of Jamaica, Civil Society Groups, including the YMCA, the Methodist Church and Service Clubs, the Private Sector, the Community, and local and international donors.