Enhancement of Community Services Delivery at St. John’s Resource Centre, Brades – Montserrat

Country Montserrat


September 2, 2013

Prior to the volcanic devastation and events of 1995, community activities were held at the then St. John’s Community Centre.  However the Government subsequently co-opted the building as a base for emergency operations and it now serves as the permanent base for the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA).  As a result, residents lack access to a community space for adult education, skills training for workforce skills and for other community support services.  In the interim, SJAC has used the Church and other venues to continue its outreach but this has either been costly to sustain or the venues were not attractive to community members.  Montserrat has experienced a dislocation of communities in the wake of the disaster.  Individuals and families from affected communities have relocated to St. John’s, changing the social fabric of the community requiring a rebuilding of community cohesion.  Youth participation in other community activities is low, due in part to the absence of social infrastructure. Of critical concern is the lack of after school programmes for school-aged children. Many parents are unable to afford private tuition outside the community resulting in their children’s academic underachievement. A well-functioning resource centre will be an important part of the social infrastructure to support community building, coping with losses and, increasingly, providing capacity-building opportunities for economically vulnerable members to improve their livelihood.   


Grant funds will:

  • Construct a reinforced concrete building of approximately 249 m2 with a pitched wooden roof, in accordance with Montserrat Building Code and environmental guidelines and ordinances.  The building will consist of a lobby, ramped access, meeting hall, computer training room, kitchen, male and female bathroom facilities, office, and store room; electrical and plumbing services including solar water heating; landscaping, termite treatment, external drainage and septic tank.  Basic equipment, furniture and fittings will also be provided; 
  • Conduct two community service/support programmes: (i) Home Work Programme; and (ii) Traditional Music and Dance training.
  • Enhanced learning and teaching environment for adult education programmes and increased opportunities for developing skills-based or recreational programmes for the youth, those with disabilities or of low academic achievement from within the community.  Youth participation in decision-making in the management of resource centre and planning of activities will also be encouraged. 
  • Business development services will be integrated into the centre’s programmes.  The SJAC will sustain its services through income earned from user fees charged to small groups using the open hall for community activities and from training fees charged for targeted certified training programmes which will be offered as needed to the wider community.  There will be enhanced opportunities to generate income through expanded membership.