Beeston Spring CDC impacting lives

June 19, 2018
Astil Gage, president of the Beeston Spring Community Development Committee, showing off the beekeeping project.
This greenhouse is another successful project of the Beeston Spring CDC.

The Beeston Spring Community Development Committee (CDC) has transformed the rural Westmoreland community into an income generator for residents by pioneering a number of self-governed programmes.

These programmes include a greenhouse project and beekeeping as well as a country-style community tourism tour

President of the Beeston Spring CDC, Astil Gage, told the Western Star that the initiatives have done much to positively impact the community by providing a source of income for the residents.

"Beeston Spring is an agricultural community so we try to seek opportunities through agriculture and due to our close relationship with Sandals Whitehouse (now Sandals South Coast), we were able to get some assistance to set up a greenhouse," Gage explained.

Gage said it has been four years since the greenhouse has been providing seasonal employment to a number of families doing sweet pepper and other crops which they sell.

"We are now seeking funding from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica and they have approved another greenhouse for us. This will further help us to have farming more structured," he added.

The Beeston Spring CDC's community tourism initiative is also an active project that has generated income for the community.

Gage often leads the tours, informing visitors of Beeston Spring's rich history.




"Over the years, we have guests and study groups from abroad and locally that come to meet and greet the people. It's a sort of community tourism where persons learn about the culture and history of Beeston Spring, such as the Salem Moravian Church that was built by ex-slaves more than 150 years ago. The church was also used a marker by fishermen at sea back in the day so that they could know where to come in the Whitehouse area," Gage outlined.

Gage, however, said the community can do much more for its people through infrastructural and educational development.

The Salem Past Student Association is one organisation trying to aid the community in the educational department by assisting youngsters with scholarships for tertiary education.

"The association hosts banquets to raise funds because one of the visions is to help at least one child in every family to achieve tertiary education. We are trying to uplift the standard of the community through education," said Gage.

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