Breds Foundation

Breds’ Setting the Stage For Local Community Development

The small close-knit community of Treasure Beach in South WestSt. Elizabeth is the envy of many communities across Jamaica, as it fosters a strong spirit of volunteerism, a shared vision for the development of the area and a determination for every one to be his brother’s keeper.
This is due in part to the hard work that the Treasure Beach Foundation, also called ‘BREDS’, has done over the past eight years. BREDS is a local non-governmental organisation.Chairman of BREDS, Jason Henzell, who is also the Manager of Jake’s Treasure Beach Hotel and Chairman of the Parish Development Committee (PDC), tells JIS News the story behind the name and also the history of the Foundation.
“The name BREDS is actually a shortened form of brethren, a term that is widely used as a form of daily greeting in these parts by fishermen. We started out in 1998 and are actually registered as a non-profit organisation,” he says, with a board comprising seven members including a fisherman, principal, Justice of the Peace and some business persons.
Mr. Henzell says that most of the requests that come before the board on an annual basis were mainly for sponsorship of an event, activity or programme.
“In our terms of reference we exist to promote sports, education and environmental awareness in the Treasure Beach area,” he points out, adding that BREDS started with small projects such as the painting of schools, post office and repairing sanitary facilities.
He reveals that the latest project undertaken by BREDS was the training of 27 volunteers to form the Treasure Beach Response Unit. “These persons,” he says are trained by doctors at Bellevue Hospital in New York, to provide emergency services.
Mr. Henzell explains that the persons who received training were now part of the Treasure Beach Emergency Response Unit (TBERU), which was formally launched in September 2002. There are four volunteers on call 24 hours per day. Some of the services offered by the volunteers include water rescue, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), support for burn victims, assisting persons suffering from strokes, heart attack and vehicular accidents.
“We have also set up an antenna and repeater system in Malvern which serves all the fishermen in the area who go out as far as the Pedro Cays, 144 kilometres out to sea. right now through the triathlon which was held recently, we are trying to raise funds for an Ambulance. We are hoping that our final tally from the staging of this event will be about $200,000,” he says.

BREDS’, Setting The Stage For Local Community Development

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