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Projects Abroadterrible organization

Social Care in Jamaica

I spent two months at a Children's home in Mandeville. I was really excited to work with children, the greater was my disappointment when I realized what work was gonna be like! The staff members at the placement (except one of them) were not interested in working togehter with the volunteers. One lady was very agressive and yelled at volunteers for a lot of things no one ever told us not to do. There was no structure at all but that was not the problem, all of us had a very hard time because every time we wanted to change a dirty diaper we had to look for diapers and wipes for about ten minutes till we found them. They moved them on a daily basis and kept them in different drawers every time. I often had to clean at least 4 hours old dry poop from a babie's butt when i arrived in the morning and that's almost impossible to do if you dont have any wipes! I almost felt like they are hiding the wipes from us on purpose. one time i had a baby with a dirty diaper on my arm and i was walking around to look for wipes. after a few minutes i found them in the bathroom (why would they keep them there and not next to the changing table where we need them??), when i took them 3 staff members yelled at me: "hey what are you doing with these..?" I just kept walking and said im gonna change the diaper!!! duh why would they ask me that??
but that was the smallest problem. the one lady was so agressive, one day she beat up one of the volunteers because he wanted to comfort a crying baby! she hit him in the head and bruised and scratched his arms! when the guy went to his supervisor to tell her what happened she acted like it was his own fault and said they cant do anything about it! Then the director responsible for the children's home decided that they dont want to have any new volunteers because we are crazy and not good for the children! the lady who beat up the volunteers also regularly beat the children (which is illegal in jamaica!!!) and she got away with beating up a volunteer, what kind of organization would be ok with that? they are just after the money, they dont care about the safety of the volunteers!

what also disappointed me was that my supervisor did not support us at all! everytime someone had a problem or felt uncomfortable at work she made it look like its the volunteers fault and that we are bad and lazy people! i once told her that i want to feel comfortable at my placement and i dont want to be yelled at for things i can not know! im not jamaican and ive never worked at a childrens home before so of course i dont always know what to do or how im supposed to do things! she never once said that yelling is not the right way to talk to someone, all she said was that its my own fault and that im not interested enough! I couldnt believe it but when i heard what happened to the guy and many of the other volunteers i knew that its not about me and i dont have to take it personal, the supervisor is just a cold, heartless person and doesnt care about volunteers!

other than that projects abroad is very expensive compared to other organizations! but i thought its not that bad because they use the money for a good cause but that's not true at all! the host families that let the volunteers live with them dont get a lot of money, and when i talked to the staff members they said they have to work 12 - 24 hours every day and hardly get any pay! sometime they didnt get wipes for the babies for more than a week so obviously the money is not spent on the children either! we had to buy our own lunch (unless some cookies or a bun fill u up) and we had to pay half of the taxi money to the work place and back! the flight is not included in the price either so that means that most of the money u pay goes to the management or the people who work in the administration! its a shame! the worst is that they dont pay their staff members well, which means that only very uneducated people are going to apply. they could at least hire more people so the staff members wouldnt be so stressed and wouldnt have to take their anger and frustration out on the poor children! most of the children have been abused already so why would you let violent people take care of them?? and they act like they are doing something good for orphans???

I think thats all i need to say! if i didnt like jamaica and my host family so much i would have quit after one week!


  • Gr
    Greg Thomson Jan 13, 2012

    At Projects Abroad we take complaints about our placements very seriously and I am very concerned to read about this incident of abuse you refer to in your post. We have very good relationships with our partner placements and we always vet all our placements thoroughly before sending volunteers to work at them.
    However if there is a rouge member of staff at a particular orphanage allegedly abusing children we will thoroughly investigate this and if proven to be true we will without hesitation report the offending person to the relevant authorities.
    We place our volunteers in orphanages that really need them. Sometimes the environment is difficult to work in but although it can be difficult, the love, attention and education that our volunteers give the children is vital for their development. Saying that, we will never condone violence towards children or our volunteers and if your claims are proven to be correct we will stop working with the children’s home.
    So we can properly act on your complaints can you please write to me directly telling me the name of the centre you worked at, the name of the staff member at the centre you believe was abusing children, and more details about the cases of alleged abuse. If you write to me directly, as Head of Operations for Projects Abroad, I will ensure I deal with this personally. Please email me at [email protected]
    Thank you.

    Greg Thomson
    Operations Director
    Projects Abroad

    0 Votes
  • Ip
    IPC Immigration Protecshon Childreen Jun 15, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hum hum
    U denigrate this country...but why u live ours!
    Help thi body-fire its not change in ur educashon
    Help its befor listen...u no u see the problème and u suppose to generate ur mind pour li up great if u see thi abuse...what u do u!?
    U in Jamaica gurl, u talk the love and all that, but u l'ost in ur mind the its u the sécurity.
    Dont see just a abus, talk to the man or gurl i dont no hows this, make ur reaport of what he say about of thi situashon...u just coming u dont no nothing (dont juge)but u suppose to be neutral and not in love like this whit the childreens then u bring in orphelinat.
    Its an other reality u go see thi childreen gat a parents but u no gat no heart for thi parents and u get out away of u counth for take it a black childreen for get out away in ur count!!
    U need to get out fast whit a childs then ur choice for moves whith u in thi others country
    Me i need to talk whit Urs boss

    0 Votes

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