Formerly the old Spanish colonial town of Oristan, Bluefields is now a quiet town in the heart of the Jamaican countryside with a wide variety of eco-activities and adventure tours available including world class bird-watching at Font Hill Beach, Jamaican crocodiles and the vibrant water birds in Black River. A simple fishing village with some of the best panoramic vista on the island you will find little of the glitz and glamour of city life in Montego Bay or the parties and nightlife of Negril.
There is a sense of balance and calm as one unwinds to enjoy the “soon come” laid back vibe. In contrast to the beauty of Bluefields the community is struggling to survive. The fish are few, as are the jobs. The Canadian Jamaican Medical Assistance Society has adopted this community in an effort to help build the local economy and shape the minds of the next generation by actively supporting the local education system.
Some of the projects undertaken by CJMAS in Bluefields include building a basic school, supporting a fish co-op, setting up a self-sustaining silk screening & sewing small business and putting computers in the Bluefields Community Association.
There are an estimated 5000 children born with spectrum disorders in Jamaica annually. The LIAM project was designed to build towards an inclusive educational system that accepts, supports, and motivates children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Jamaica, so they can take their rightful place as respected contributors to society.
Education is the catalyst for change. LIAM is working towards community sensitization, and more urgently, is equipping teachers to understand the disorders and providing them with the tools to educate children with autism spectrum disorders.
Open Arms Drop-In Centre (OADC) is a day centre in Kingston, Jamaica for homeless adults, which serves to eliminate homelessness and aid the mentally ill by providing them an environment in which to learn the skills necessary to maximize their full potential in society.
In addition to the day centre, Open Arms operates a night shelter. Services offered by OADC include cooked meals, personal hygiene care, mental health care, job preparation exercises, clothing & toiletries, needs assessments, form completion assistance, psychosocial rehabilitation skills training, community re-integration skills training, basic literacy & innumeracy training, and spiritual support.
Since the opening ceremony on November 8th, 2006 Open Arms has seen its number of admitted residents increase exponentially. Currently, Open Arms is preparing to refurbish their hurricane-damaged buildings, rebuild their learning centre and provide transitional housing accommodations for current and future clients.
© 2017 Canadian Jamaican Medical Assistance Society