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KINGSTON 11, Jamaica - Nov. 3, 2016 - PRLog -- As a child of Jamaica's inner-city, Dwayne Francis knows how susceptible 'area youth' are to peer pressure. But while attending St. George's College, he developed a sense of self-worth and determination to succeed.
Francis is project manager of St. Patrick's Rangers, a Non Government Organization that operates out of Seaview Gardens, a working-class community in Kingston, Jamaica's capital.
Founded in 2009, the 'rangers' comprise volunteers who assist residents in their respective communities during the Hurricane Season.
These are some of the Caribbean country's most economically-

challenged areas. They include Majesty Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Waterhouse, Riverton, Payne Lands, Cockburn Pen and Seaview Gardens.
All have infrastructure issues and are immune to flooding, even when there is mild rainfall. With training from groups like the Red Cross, fire brigade, Jamaica Defence Force and Office of Disaster and Emergency Preparedness, the rangers monitor their communities whenever there is a storm or hurricane.
Francis has been with St. Patrick's Rangers for three years. While they provide yeoman service, he is concerned the organization does not get the wide scale support and recognition it deserves.
"We want persons to know more about us and the work we do. That would help us attract more donors which would help get more workers," he said.
There are currently just over 100 volunteers in the St. Patrick's Rangers' ranks. They are aged 16 to 26 years and belong to Youth Emergency Action Committees.
Most of the rangers (30) are from the adjacent Riverton/Callaloo Mews neighborhoods. Fourteen are from Seaview which is a stone's throw away.
Many of them join the rangers through Francis and his team interacting with community youth groups. Once recruited, they are trained in various forms of disaster preparedness including map reading, first aid, and search and response.
Because of its NGO status, funding for this training comes mainly from the United States Agency for International Development. Initially, the St. Patrick's Rangers had two full-time workers; now, they have eight.
Dwayne Francis was raised in the Waltham Park section of Kingston, a gritty area prone to spurts of violence. He credits his years at St. George's and being part of St. Patrick's Rangers for developing a sense of responsibility.
It has also given him an opportunity to steer wayward youth on the right path.
"I know what many of them are going through. The rangers have provided a lot of them with some form of stability," he said.
It is a stability he would love to see maintained through the support of corporate Jamaica and potential overseas donors.
St. Patrick's Rangers
2-4Pacific Boulevard, Seaview Gardens,
Kingston 11

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