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Mount Salem gets early visit from Santa Claus

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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THE bright smiles and happy sounds that filled the Mount Salem Primary School last Saturday were in stark contrast to the images portrayed on television earlier this year from the St James community of Mount Salem.

Mount Salem was the first community declared as a zone of special operation, a special programme of the Government to target areas affected by a high rate of crime.

The hilly settlement in the western parish was on Saturday visited by representatives from the FLOW Foundation, as well as employee volunteers, for the first of three Christmas treats planned by the telecommunications company for the festive season. More 150 children from the community were feted with gifts, treats, a movie and a special visit from Santa Claus.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Community Safety and Security Branch also used the opportunity to deepen their connection with members of the community, as they volunteered to chaperone students for the treat.

“This was indeed a fitting kick-off to our Christmas season as we spread the magic of Christmas to children in some of the more underserved and deserving communities across the island,” said Courtney Bell, community programmes manager at the FLOW Foundation.

“Our plan is to visit some of the communities that have been affected by the scourge of crime and violence and provide an opportunity for our children to relax and enjoy the festive season,” he added.

Carlene Brown-Clarke, principal of the school, welcomed the team from FLOW. “For some of these children, this will be one of the few opportunities they get this year to really enjoy themselves. We are very grateful to the team from Flow for this initiative and we really appreciate what they have been doing for the children,” Brown-Clarke stated.

Mount Salem Primary is also a beneficiary of the FLOW Foundation Internet in Schools programme.

Meanwhile, Yvonne White-Powell, team lead for the St James Division of the Community Safety and Security Branch, said: “I want to say thank you to FLOW for bringing an early Christmas to Mount Salem. We really welcome the partnership because it's only through initiatives like these that see us — the police — partnering with the community and others, that we will be able to rid Jamaica of crime and violence,” the police officer commented.

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