Fleming College Helps Jamaican Students

Fleming College students have “life changing experience” through Hanover Charities

Six years ago Patti Watson, coordinator for tourism and travel for Fleming College in Ontario Canada, was looking for a way for her students understand different aspects of travel.  She wanted to set up an experience where the students could visit resorts, go on excursions, and volunteer their time with a local charity.

She said she also “wanted the students to understand as I call it the good, and the bad of travel to a country.”  In working with a local travel agency, Patti found Hanover Charities chair Katrin Casserly and was able to set up what she terms “a life changing experience for the Fleming College students. “

With Katrin’s assistance, Patti takes students to West Haven Children’s Centre for a day playing, feeding, bathing and dressing the residents.  The students even help with hanging the laundry.  The second day students volunteer a few hours at the Cecil Claire Kitchen of Love aiding the local volunteers in preparing and packing the meals for the less fortunate.  The last day students volunteer at the Hanover Library in Lucea.  They usually take a craft such as a wishing star for the children to complete and books for the students to read.  The Fleming College students will read to the young school children.

What’s more, the Fleming College students fill their suitcases with donations for Katrin to distribute including much-needed clothing for West Haven, kitchen supplies for the Kitchen of Love, dolls, stuffed toys, soccer balls and soccer uniforms. 

Patti says the students experience life outside what a typical tourist would see. But they also see how tourism is a local economic generator for jobs and employment for some of the locals. She adds, “We are so blessed to have a contact with Hanover Charities and be able to meet and work with local Jamaican people.  Our students get to learn more about Jamaica than what the typical tourist does.”

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