FOR years, Sonia McKenzie-Chambers, principal of Top Hill Basic School in Lluidas Vale, St Catherine, has been praying to God for the help of kind Samaritans to rebuild her school.
Her prayers were recently answered, as Food for the Poor Jamaica in association with Kind Hearts Limited, intervened and constructed an entirely new structure for the institution.
According to McKenzie-Chambers, the conditions under which she operated before were unbearable.
"I have been working under very difficult and deplorable conditions for a very long time just to ensure that the children got the right start," McKenzie-Chambers said.
She said due to the conditions, residents of the community lacked faith in the school and were reluctant to enrol their children there.
"But the future of Top Hill Basic School looks brighter now," she said.
The construction of the school represented the second collaborative effort of Kind Hearts Limited — a non-profit organisation, run by young adults, dedicated to giving back to communities within Jamaica — and Food for the Poor under their Jamaica 50 programme.
Last year they renovated the D Franks Early Childhood Institute in Manchester, which was officially opened in September 2012.
According to Andrew Mahfood, chairman, Food for the Poor, Top Hill was chosen because of the need to improve the standard of education in Lluidas Vale.
"Education is very important to us at Food for the Poor and is key to the development of a child's values and morals. This gave birth to our Jamaica 50 campaign which was launched to build and upgrade 50 schools in 50 months. So far, 15 schools have been constructed and officially opened under this project and Top Hill Basic School represents the 16th [school]," Mahfood said.
— Ainsworth Morris