About the home
Garland Hall Children’s Home is an orphanage / children’s home that is privately run by the Jamaican Women’s Baptist Federation. It is situated opposite Anchovy High School, about 15 minutes away from Montego Bay. The children’s home is named after Elisabeth Garland Hall (1867 – 1933), a Baptist missionary and the founder of the Jamaican Women’s Baptist Federation. She herself was orphaned very early and amongst many other activities decided to run an orphanage in her own private home.
Today Garland Hall Children’s Home can provide a safe place to stay for up to 30 children, most of them at the age between 9 and 13. There are 3 dormitories, one for the older girls, one for the younger girls and a boys’ dorm. Each of them can be used by up to 10 persons at a time.
Most children who live there were brought in by an officer from the Child Development Agency. There are mainly three reasons why children are at the home: neglect, abuse or the death of their parents.
Most children will stay for a couple of years, some their entire childhood. If there are biological parents present, the CDA (Child Development Agency) and a court might decide that the children can spend some time with them, especially during school breaks. Whenever the parents’ living circumstances improve the children might be able to go back to their parents after some close inspection and under supervision of the CDA.
Mrs. Sydia Smith is the Manager of the home right now. Together with another 5 part time staff members, she makes sure that every single child gets enough attention, sufficient nutrition and a safe and clean place to stay. All the care givers do their best each and every day including many overtime hours. Sometimes the team gets help from volunteers from the community or from all over the world (e.g. through Projects Abroad). The home is very thankful for all the volunteers that have worked there in the past. Unfortunately there is no possibility to accommodate volunteers there.
The building they live in was originally a private home. Ever since a lot of restructuring and constant improvments took place. The latest achievment is a bigger kitchen and a mch better playground area in front of the house (see news section). There is still a lot do, until everything will be up to a more modern standard.