Eastwood Gardens’ community library gets facelift Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Five months after winning one of six grants worth $1 million each in the Desnoes and Geddes (D&G) Foundation’s ‘6 for 60’ community development promotion, the Eastwood Gardens Community Centre (EGCC) is already seeing positive returns on the investment.

The centre’s once run-down library and gathering space have since received a complete facelift to better serve as a study centre and safe space for students and at-risk youth as well as a venue for community events.

With the centre ready for operation, the D&G Foundation and the EGCC have started exploring possibilities for collaborative skills training for the community’s youth.

Founder and events manager of the Eastwood Gardens Youth Club, Juliana Prince, beamed with pride as she welcomed D&G Foundation Accountant Dennis Beckford into the newly renovated library to discuss how the improvements have impacted their work.

“We entered the competition to uplift our club space because it was deteriorating badly. We knew that by upgrading the centre, we could ultimately upgrade our community, particularly the youth who depend on our services. Since we received the donation from the D&G Foundation, we have installed new concrete boards in the ceilings and repainted the entire space. We have also purchased tablets and printers for students and speaker systems for hosting events. Additionally, we’ve painted the library and installed more durable boards for better shelving.”

Expressing her gratitude to the D&G Foundation, Prince added, “Seeing all that we have accomplished, we are profoundly grateful for the much-deserved facelift of our youth club. We have successfully achieved all that we set out to do, and we are now encouraged more than ever to continue to use this space for the betterment of our community.”

As a symbol of the ongoing partnership with the foundation, the first major event hosted at the Eastwood Gardens Community Centre since its renovation was the recently held ‘Be the One, Be Dragon’ reasoning session which featured keynote speeches from dancehall artiste Nation Boss and renowned saxophonist, Dean Fraser.

While touring the upgraded facility, Beckford remarked on the improvements, highlighting the foundation’s goal of empowering communities.

“I am proud to see the changes made to the Eastwood Gardens Community Centre. Seeing their dreams become a reality and how the community benefits from the upgrades warm my heart. Making a long-lasting impact on families, communities, and by extension, Jamaica is the central pillar of the Foundation’s work. Now that the space is fit for operation, we look forward to further deepening the partnership by introducing new training opportunities,” said Beckford.

“The centre’s leadership has already started looking for young persons to participate in the Foundation’s ‘Learning for Life’ bartending and merchandise training programmes. The foundation is dedicated to meeting young people where they are to provide valuable training; once you have the numbers, we will be there. I see incredible things on the horizon for the Eastwood Gardens Youth Club,” Beckford concluded.