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    A - Arts

    Self-expression is a birthright and should be experienced in a wide variety of ways. In St. Thomas, children do not get the opportunity to paint and make arts and crafts often. We offer children art sessions and work with artists to produce fun and meaningful art.

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    C - Culture

    Having a positive self-image and sense of identity is vital for a child’s social and emotional development. St. Thomas is rich in culture, and through dance, poetry and story-telling, we explore and honour our unique heritage.

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    E - Education

    Basic literacy and numeracy skills are essential life skills and a key to social mobility for children in St. Thomas. We work with children of all abilities, helping them to gain more confidence in every session.

MISSION STATEMENT

Araba Scott Children's Foundation’s mission is to bring children of all circumstances living in St. Thomas together with professional artists, teachers and therapists, to create, learn, play and embrace their culture, increasing well-being, tolerance, and helping give children a positive view of themselves.

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Our Vision

Children in St. Thomas are learning, playing and creating in a safe and nurturing environment. The children’s self-confidence grows and literacy rates improve, regardless of ability or disability. Children of all backgrounds treat each other with dignity and respect, as a result of learning better conflict resolution and tolerance for one another (as modelled by ASCF staff and volunteers).

ASCF also supports the Jamaican Government’s, National Shared Vision for education for 2030;

“Each learner will maximise his/her potential in an enriching, learner-centred education environment…supported by committed, qualified, competent, effective and professional educators and staff.

The system produces full literacy and numeracy, a globally competitive, quality workforce and a disciplined culturally aware and ethical Jamaican citizenry.”

Our vision as an organisation, is also in line with the performance targets set by the Jamaican Government and stipulated in the 2015 White Paper on Education, which promotes, “building community participation…to influence positive behavioural changes and stimulate a higher level of involvement.”

Our Values

Our value system is simple and based on the Articles set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Jamaica signed in 1990 and ratified in 1991. We are especially led by Articles 13, 14, 19, 23, 28, 29, 31, 39 and 42, as these articles champion the rights of children in St. Thomas that are not currently being taught, enforced or monitored.

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The Founder's Story

Alicia Louise

Founder & Director

I was born in Britain, but my father is from St. Thomas, Jamaica. While studying for my degree in Criminal Justice BA (hons) at the University of Westminster, I made 3 long trips to Jamaica every year after I noticed the needs and complexities of the children in St. Thomas. God has called me to use my gifts and experiences to help give these children a better start in life, and more opportunities for growth.

My heart for Jamaica came after my grandmother, Louise Barnes was brutally murdered in St. Catherine. My grandmother came from Port Morant in Morant Bay, parish of St, Thomas. Miss Lou was a loving grandmother, and wanted more than anything to build on her relationship with her grandchildren. I remember her contagious laugh, the way she spoke fast, her beautiful head of hair, and her amazing voice.

We cannot deny that Jamaica has a serious problem with the senseless killings, and we have come to the conclusion that living in extreme poverty or extreme wealth can make people heartless. We can change this if we try and alleviate some of the pressures of poverty on children. After all, nothing changes if nothing changes. As a Christian, I feel our understanding of ‘grace’ in St. Thomas, falls short when it comes to how we treat our children. Therefore, grace and love have become the foundation of everything we do.

I am now a Children’s Advocate, with LLM International Law, and have since received the University of Westminster Social Impact Award 2019 for my work as Director and Founder of Araba Scott Children’s Foundation. Our work in St. Thomas has been recognised by UNICEF who featured a short story about our activities during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Why St. Thomas

While poverty is widespread throughout Jamaica, St. Thomas faces unique challenges that remain unaddressed and need our undivided attention. St. Thomas is often referred to as the ‘forgotten parish’. Araba Scott Children’s Foundation believes we should always seek to work in ‘difficult’ places rather than work on developing places that are perceived as ‘easier’ to work in, or that are already receiving assistance.

In 2015, the Planning Institute of Jamaica ranked St. Thomas, Jamaica’s poorest parish. 54% of households, in a population of only 95,000 still use pit latrines. Sexual abuse and incest of children is under reported in St. Thomas but suspected to be highest here, because of the severity of poverty, poor report and respond mechanisms and the lack of things to do.

Our own observations have highlighted that a worrying number of children are experiencing the loss of one or both parents, and not receiving the emotional support to express their grief. There are a lack of positive outlets such as art and cultural activities in St. Thomas. Many of these activities occur at school or at church, but where children do not attend either of these regularly or at all, they end up isolated and with little to do.

The quality of life for children with physical disabilities and severe learning difficulties is also a concern for us. Until 2017, there wasn’t a single secondary school in the parish for these children to attend. Parents keep their children at home because, “they won’t be the first who can’t read or write”. Therefore, these children lack stimulation, social interaction and positive outlets.

Every child has the capacity to learn at his or her own pace. All they need is the opportunity. What children in St. Thomas lack is opportunity. What we are providing is opportunity. What they can achieve will foster further opportunities for themselves and the next generation!

What we do

Araba Scott Children’s Foundation provides artistic, educational and cultural activities for children aged 0-17 in St. Thomas, Jamaica. We do this by providing free literacy and numeracy classes, and art sessions for children with and without special educational needs, and or physical disabilities.

We operate from our safe haven, Barnes Hall, which is located in the district of Port Morant. Our building is wheelchair accessible, with three fully functioning toilets, a play room which can be used as a quiet room, a main hall, office space and a yard for outdoor activities.

Get Involved

If you would like to offer our young people artistic, cultural and educational enrichment, we would love to hear from you. Our email is listed below so we encourage you to send us a proposal of the work you’d like to do with our young people.

So far we have partnered with:

Regeneration Kidz Klub; bringing spiritual awareness to our children which educates them about who they are, and how they can serve others.

Art Therapy Jamaica; providing free 8-week art therapy sessions with Jamaica’s only licensed art therapist.

Manifesto Jamaica, British Council and the National Theatre of Scotland; to bring physical theatre to our young people.

We would also welcome donations towards the labour and materials for  a new ceiling for the main hall and office, and also donations towards solar panel(s) to provide us with electricity.

We accept donations of new or in good condition:

  1. Black school shoes for boys and girls aged 4-17.
  2. Sensory toys for children with disabilities.
  3. Essential items: Food (monetary donations for cooked meals or long-life foods), soap, sanitary towels, (preferably reusable ones), toothpaste, deodorant and underwear for children aged 3-17.
  4. School supplies: Notebooks, stationary, school bags, and donations towards uniform and textbooks.

Having said this, your most valuable donation is your time. There are many ways to show the children and young people of St. Thomas that you support them. You can do this by: advocating on a child’s behalf, writing letters to local ministers and Councillors in Jamaica asking them what they’re plans are to further invest in the education, safeguarding and protection of children and young people in St. Thomas, volunteering with us during the summer, contacting our team in Jamaica to ask if you can help clean, cook or otherwise maintain the safe haven. There are 101 ways to help, so just ask! We can also assist your professional development by providing training, voluntary experience and  references for jobs. All volunteers must be DBS or CRB cleared, or be willing to obtain these, as well as be aware of our safeguarding standards which include regular supervision of your work.

Guidelines for sending non-monetary donations

Before sending a donation, please email us at arabascottcf@gmail.com to find out where to send your contribution.

Thank you for all the donations given so far, they have been most appreciated!

Serve with us

In the Summer of 2021 we will be offering you a chance to work with us in St. Thomas! Stay tuned for updates on this.

Trustee vacancies

We are extending our invitation for two new members to the trustee board into 2020. We need:

  1. A trustee with experience in charity finance (budget forecasting, accounting & making grant applications).

Stay tuned for updates about this!

Staff and volunteer vacancies

In 2021 we will be recruiting:

A volunteer primary & secondary school teacher to work part-time with the children in Port Morant, St. Thomas. We are particularly interested in hearing from those with experience of teaching or assessing children with learning disabilities, or physical disabilities that prevent a child from attending school. This is in view of preparing them to get into a recognised school in St. Thomas or be taught on an individual basis.

News and Events

Our Annual Report 2019

Araba Scott Children’s Foundation has submitted its second Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for 2019. It highlights all our achievements and exciting moments. You will find full information of our children’s activities, goals for the future and resources utilised for that year.

Our Annual Report 2018

Araba Scott Children’s Foundation has submitted its first Annual Report and Accounts for 2018. It highlights all our achievements and exciting moments. You will find full information of our children’s activities, goals for the future and resources for that year.

We Have a New Trustee!

On Tuesday 27th November 2018, we appointed a brand new trustee with experience in child and adolescent safeguarding (reviewing our safeguarding procedures, special programme planning, awareness of the effects of childhood trauma etc). If you would like to join our board and help shape young hearts and minds in Jamaica too, look at the staff […]

Blog Posts

18 Tips to Help Parents with their Children during Isolation | “Please Do Some Work!”

This one is for all the caregivers who are having a difficult time getting their children to settle down and do some work during the isolation period we’re currently in. Learning doesn’t have to stop or be a struggle for you and your children. There’s a lot of joy to be had and future achievements […]

Freedom

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates Within the last 10 years the amount of resilience I’ve been able to (forced to) build up is truly a blessing. There have been incredibly difficult times since my grandmother’s death, starting the charity […]

You Are Valued

If nobody has told you this year, the unique things that you do are important. No matter how big or small, significant or insignificant they may seem, the things you do are needed and appreciated. If you’ve impacted Araba Scott Children’s Foundation this year by doing any of the following, it hasn’t gone unnoticed:  Whether […]

Our Address

Address
Curtis Bottom, Port Morant,
St. Thomas
Jamaica
W.I.
Email Address
arabascottcf@gmail.com