The Kiwanis Club of New Kingston (KCNK) was organized on September 6, 1989 and chartered on November 14, 1989, under the principles of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. The Club forms part of Division 23 East, one of four Divisions in Jamaica. The brainchild of the late Past Governor Carlton Levy and sponsored jointly by the Kiwanis Clubs of Kingston and Liguanea, the KCNK became the first and largest all-female Kiwanis Club in Jamaica. The Club later went on to sponsor two Kiwanis Clubs, the Kiwanis Club of Eastern St. Andrew (sponsored jointly with the Kiwanis Club of East Kingston and Port Royal) and the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring.
Since its inception, the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston has maintained a rich and distinguished record of outstanding leadership, achievement and service to the nation. Past and current Presidents in order of service are: Pamela Benka-Coker, Jennifer Messado, Judith Douglas, Valerie Crawford, Claudette Chin, Winsome Levy, Lorna Chong, Carole Fullerton, Kay Anderson, Gerthlyn Reid-Holman, Beverley Thompson, Hilary Grant, Annette Francis, Hermine Metcalfe, Doneth Brown-Reid, Bridgette Steele, Claudette Carter, Yvonne ‘Joy’ Crawford, Suzanne Leslie-Bailey, Andrea Moore, Lola Chin Sang, Sharon Williams, Rosemarie Henry, Carmen DeLisser Brown and Audrey Brown (current).
Three Distinguished Presidents, Winsome Levy, Gerthlyn Reid-Holman and Kay Anderson, went on to become Distinguished Lieutenant Governors of the Division and the Lieutenant Governor for 2015-2016 is Distinguished President Beverley Thompson.
Over its twenty-five years of existence, the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston has won many International, District and Division awards for outstanding service projects. Major Projects have included:
- construction of houses for the indigent
- renovation of a house for Ma Lou, the famed potter, in St. Catherine
- construction of the Tropical Learning Centre at the Hope Zoo
- a skills-training and day care centre at the North Street United Church
- a bakery and basic school at Sophie’s Place, a home for disabled children
- a health centre at Bull Bay in St. Thomas
- a ramp for the physically challenged at the Tom Redcam Library
Other major projects include:
- renovation of the Athlone Wing at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre and installation of a new homework centre, library and computer room
- a public relations campaign, under the slogan, “Protect our Children, Treat them Right”, using billboards, bumper stickers and a music video
- research into air quality
- re-roofing and renovation of the St. Mary’s Basic School
- computer centres at Trench Town Comprehensive High and Holy Rosary Primary Schools
- renovation of Galilee Basic School
- donation of neo-natal equipment to the Victoria Jubilee Hospital
- donation of hemodialysis equipment to the Diabetes Foundation of Jamaica
- public awareness of sickle cell disease and donation of equipment
The Club has worked with the mentally and physically challenged and assisted with the treatment of children with cardiac disease, AIDS and diabetes. We are proud to have provided the AZT drug to prevent the spread of HIV to children during childbirth and to have collaborated with the Mustard Seed Community in providing and maintaining “Dare to Care”, a facility which houses children infected with HIV.
We are particularly proud of our commitment to the Service Leadership Programme, which has sponsored Key Clubs at Denham Town, Trench Town, Hydel, Kingsway and Immaculate Conception High Schools and City College. KCNK also sponsors a Circle K Club, Builders Clubs in prep and primary schools, K-Kids Clubs in basic schools and an Aktion Club for adults with disabilities. These clubs promote personal growth through leadership development and service.
Well-known for its educational programmes, the KCNK Youth Services Committee works with schools to enhance the reading attainment of children.
LITTLE BEE COMPETITION
One of the more popular projects of the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, the Little Bee competition is aimed at improving the spelling and literacy skills of four and five-year-old children in basic schools.
At the launch, booklets containing words and picture prompts are distributed to the schools for teachers to prepare the children for the competition. The words are selected in collaboration with the Early Childhood Unit of the Ministry of Education so that the appropriate level of difficulty is achieved. All the children in the schools can therefore benefit from the use of these booklets.
In working with the young mothers at the Women’s Centre, and at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, the Club focuses on pre-natal care as well as healthy lifestyles, not only for the babies but for their mothers as well.
KCNK – COMMITTED TO SERVICE
The Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, in celebrating its twenty-sixth year of service, remains committed to the ideals of Kiwanis International which focuses on serving the children of the world. They are our most precious asset and deserve our unwavering support.