Tychius Ricketts lost his job at Jamalco and joined the unemployed in his community of Mocho, Clarendon. While he was, in his words, “waiting for a break” he decided that he had to turn to the four acres of land that he owned for survival. Project manager for the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), Quiet Thompson, told him of the coffee-farming project in the Mocho area funded jointly by the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) and Jamalco, with technical input from RADA. Tychicus says, “This is the best thing that could happen to me. They helped me with land preparation, weedicide, fertilizer, seedlings and technical help and got me started on one acre of my land. I expanded the farm from the one acre to four acres and I have moved from being unemployed to being able to provide work on a full time basis for four men. This helps my family and their family. I do what they call inter-cropping with yam, plantain, breadfruit, coconut, ackee and papaya”. Mr. Ricketts adds that the project is a good one, because it has returned mined-out bauxite lands to farming and offers an opportunity for farmers to learn more about the scientific way to care for crops . “I keep encouraging others to get into the project and benefit from what Jamalco, RADA and the JBI have to offer”.
In 1997 the Jamaica Bauxite Institute together with Jamalco, made a commitment to assist the Pleasant Valley community by constructing a water tank to serve approximately 1,500 residents, including the district school. The project was implemented by the National Water Commission at a cost of $8,770,600.00.
The first batch of cosmetology graduates from the Hayes Skills Training Programme in Hayes, Clarendon graduated on September 24, 2000, after completing a one-year programme in cosmetology.
The programme, which was the result of a needs survey conducted in the Hayes community, was implemented by the Social Development Commission. Training was undertaken at the Extra Touch Institute of Beauty Services in May Pen, and consisted of nine months of teaching sessions and three months of work experience at various business places. Classes were offered five days fives days per week and were taught by Mrs. Hyacinth Oates, a trainer and examiner for the H.E.A.R.T Trust/NTA.
The use of H.E.A.R.T as a training agency, ensures that training is done to a national standard. At the time of the graduation, seven of the ten Hayes Cosmetology graduates had already completed certification exams set by the National Council on Technical and Vocational Training (NCTVET).