I rarely see youth participating in voluntary activities. In addition, I hardly see youth who enjoy volunteering. But to my amazement, I saw 2,000 young people in Clarendon on Sunday March 20th, who were excited to contribute to the welfare of the parish. They were privileged to serve.
It was the great soul, Mahatma Gandhi who said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Operation Save a Youth (OSAY) provided a means for the youth of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists to find themselves while losing themselves in service. The Adventist Youth, who had a faith to share, brought along their non-Adventist friends to improve the physical and social well-being of the inhabitants of Clarendon.
Operation Save a Youth (OSAY) is a programme aimed at empowering youth and encompasses youth volunteerism, nation building and community involvement.
There were 37 projects to choose from but was I blessed to be a part of Project One. Project One went to the house of Mr. Simeon Williams, aka Mr. Jack.
Mr. Jack, an elderly gentleman, needed a new bed and also his house was in urgent need of repair.
On arriving on the site, the team hastily started the work. We began removing items from the house and placed them on the outside. We were armed and ready to tackle the tasks at hand. While the other females washed and painted, I decided to try something different. I saw an electric screwdriver and was encouraged by Mr. Reid, one of the builders, to try it out. And there it started, I drilled holes in walls, screwed in nails, mixed cement and tried my hand at being a mason. I learnt so much and I have OSAY to thank for that.
Despite some of us being ill and many other challenges, we lost ourselves in the work that was to be done. The inside of the house was painted, curtains washed, beautification of the outside, among other items were done.
It was a blessing to see Mr. Jack’s smile at the end of the day. When asked how he felt about the work being done to his home, Mr. Jack’s reply was, “I feel nice”. It warmed our hearts to see that he was indeed appreciative of the work done.
Community members were also blessed as we handed out uplifting and spiritual literature to them.
Volunteering is a joyful experience and I hope that many other youth in Jamaica would take this as an example to volunteer more to experience this wonderful feeling.