Scotland prays for Jamaica
The Scottish Bible Society (SBS) has launched an appeal to rescue children trapped in Jamaica’s violent gangland townships. SBS is assisting the Bible Society of the West Indies (BSWI) to rescue youngsters from violent, drug-fuelled, criminal activity.
SBS chief executive Elaine Duncan said that change was desperately needed on the island, which is seen by most as a sun-kissed holiday destination. She said, ‘Jamaica is an island of opposites. On the face of it we see a paradise where tourists revel in all manner of delights.
‘But there is another side to island life: townships controlled by gangs who have close ties to organised crime networks, with drug smuggling and money laundering at their heart’.
Children are caught up in the fallout of crime. They experience violence in the home and witness brutal attacks on classroom teachers.
In some areas, according to BSWI, schools have been forced to close because teachers are terrified of being attacked. Children also choose not to go to school for fear they will be caught up in the violence.
SBS has agreed to fund a two-year project costing £45,000, for the recruitment of three children’s pastors to visit schools, offer counselling sessions and conduct devotions.
Elaine Duncan added, ‘With this kind of intervention, it is hoped that children can be rescued before they are swallowed up by crime, violence, evil influences and drugs’.