First Look

The Prince’s Foundation awarded over $2 Million to continue regeneration in Jamaica

Prince's Foundation | 2012-02-09 14:06:00

The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, formerly The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, has been awarded over $2 million to help continue its work in Rose Town, Kingston; one of the most deprived areas of Jamaica. The Rose Town project began 7 years ago following a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2000 after which he felt compelled to assist the community he met. As result of that initial visit, The Prince’s Foundation launched the Rose Town regeneration project which seeks to help 4,500 residents through a committed programme of community engagement. The Prince’s Foundation is committed to long term sustainable assistance in Rose Town, evidenced by it’s continued presence on the ground over the last 7 years and His Royal Highness’ return visit in 2008.

Following the violence at the end of the 1970’s and 1980’s, a significant proportion of the Kingston population emigrated away from Rose Town leaving a myriad of issues surrounding property rights in the area. These issues have bled into questions of sanitation, infrastructure and education.  Through an on the ground presence over the last 7 years, the Prince’s Foundation has led a variety of initiatives including securing land title for homeowners through support from the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

The latest funding for the project has been secured to help improve infrastructure, governance, community capacity and economic opportunity - all key initiatives on the road to prosperity. The money from private donors and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will help the charity further improve the plight of those living in the heart of Rose Town.

A large portion of the funding has been earmarked for the improvement of vital water accessibility, through the repair of the water, road and drainage systems. Rose Town lacks a consistent water supply and residents often have to travel in order to access that supply. The next phase of The Prince’s Foundation’s on-going engagement in Rose Town will enable this situation to be dramatically improved. The charity plans to host one of its innovative community workshops in the early spring 2012 to listen to local voices and refine plans so as to meet the most pressing needs. Following the workshop, contractors will be selected with infrastructure and sanitation improvements expected to be completed by as early as autumn 2013.

Speaking at the Annual Conference on 27th January, HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, said:

“And thinking of Jamaica, it was over twelve years ago now that during an official visit to Jamaica I visited the slums in Kingston  – a particularly challenging area …

“The frustrations experienced in trying to get anything off the ground were beyond belief, but the upshot was that my Foundation has been working for almost seven years in Rose Town – a district of Kingston – which has been plagued by gang violence for nearly thirty years. Working with local community members, they have managed to bring the two sides of the community together to work on a common plan, to train the young people and to start craft-based businesses, all funded by a group of British and American donors. And now, twelve years later, thanks to some generous support from the Department for International Development and USAID, among others, we are moving forward to help residents obtain title to their homes, pave roads, ensure access to clean drinking water and improve sanitation and drainage.  Such work has, I have been told by the people living there, had a profound impact on their lives and has helped to tackle the gang violence.”

Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation, Hank Dittmar said:

“We have been committed to long term sustainable change in Rose Town over the last twelve years and have seen real change on the ground in terms of education programmes being run and community engagement taking place. This new stream of funding will enable the Foundation to continue its commitment to the area and help with the infrastructure and water requirements which, are desperately needed to achieve the long term goal of ensuring a sustainable community.”

Prince’s Foundation Rose Town Project Manager, Angela Stultz said:

“The Prince’s Foundation has achieved significant success over the last 7 years. Its success is the real of long term and sustained community engagement with the residents of Rose Town. It has enabled people within the community to feel a sense of hope that was sorely lacking. Alongside the generous support and assistance of other organisations such as the Rose Town Benevolent Society, DFID and USAID we have been able to make a real difference on the ground I believe that the new funding really will make a difference to a community where water is not consistently accessible to all and on the back of the land tenure achievements it is helping to bring a sense e of stability to the area.”

The Prince’s Foundation has been committed to long-term sustainable change in Rose Town and continues to work on the ground with the local residents to affect the changes needed and aspired for by the community. The last 7 years has seen significant progress in the challenging area with the creation in 2009 of The Rose Town Foundation for the Built Environment (RTFBE) which was set up to help regenerate the area. Over the last 7 years, The Prince’s Foundation has developed a Masterplan for the area through community workshops; made improvements to Rose Town’s infrastructure and run community consultation sessions on the promotion of local building styles and  the use of local materials. An example of this is high quality pottery enterprise developing under the mentorship of The Prince’s School for traditional Arts (PSTA) allowing skills to be transferred amongst the community. Additionally,

Education initiatives have also seen the creation of other community facilities including the construction of a widely used community library; plus weekly literary skills and computer programmes. Additionally one of The Prince’s Foundation’s Building Skill in Craft training programs was started for students, which has seen the targeted the renovation of a local house. Students are being trained through Falmouth Heritage, whose trainers have participated in The Prince’s Foundation’s Apprenticeship Programme  in the UK and whose headquarters Prince Harry will be visiting as part of the Queen’s diamond jubilee tour.

With this well established platform of community improvement and new financial support, the Prince’s Foundation, the Rose Town Foundation and the community of Rose Town are well positioned to achieve their long-term goal of repairing infrastructure – roads, sewer, water, power and drainage. These advances will then set the stage for construction of more housing and other priority steps toward a fully rebuilt and sustainable community. The lessons that have been learnt in Rose Town are ones that could be rolled out across other communities in the country and it is hoped that eventually the success of the programmes will enable that to happen.

Alongside the infrastructure projects being led by the Prince’s Foundation, USAID is funding a parallel effort to develop microenterprise within the community. USAID efforts will support the development of local stewardship and governance structures built around the improved water system  Developments such as this, will empower the local community to maintain these changes long after the Charity has departed

Posted By :Joanna Hindley

Company Name : Prince's Foundation

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