A Craftwomen's Collective and Community Building in Jamaica
The Rollins Enterprise Center in Rose Town, Jamaica as an affiliate of the Prince's Foundation
Historically, the inner-city neighbourhood of Rose Town in Kingston, Jamaica has been divided between North and South by two rival factions, arising from the political divisions and violence that grew in Jamaica in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the government took drastic action to curb the violence and razed the middle section of the neighbourhood, demolishing houses and buildings to create a barren ‘no man’s land’ between the two communities. The violence continued however, with unemployment, food insecurity and poor sanitary conditions increasingly entrenched. Following a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Foundation began supporting the local community in their efforts to reconcile the divided neighbourhood and improve the quality of life for all residents.
Since that time, The Prince’s Foundation has worked in partnership with The Rose Town Foundation, to deliver a range of diverse projects such as the construction of new community facilities, a new road reconnecting North and South, water and sewage infrastructure, secure land tenure and training in building skills, craft and enterprise.
WFI is collaborating with The Prince’s Foundation, Rose Town Foundation, and Kingston Creative on a three-year development plan focusing on the creation of a cohort of local artisans who will develop the craft skills necessary to earn a living selling unique high quality textile products to both a local market and an international fashion market. The artisans will create handmade crochet items, which may utilize natural dye techniques traditional to the Foundation at Dumfries House in conjunction with crop production from the Rose Town farm in the dye process.
Deliverables & Impact
The first year will focus on setting the foundation for the artisans to learn and enhance their artisanal skills. To overcome barriers to participation the initial offerings will be provided free of charge along with materials. The program will engage females who are at risk of domestic violence or young mothers who may find the flexible working model that comes from being a self-employed crafts person appealing. The aim is to create employment that is long-lasting where the artisans can grow and rise in responsibility, income, skills, and management while transmitting beauty and love into the world.