Montego Bay

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Jamaica).

Montego is a on the north coast of Jamaica. It’s the capital city of St. James Parish. Montego Bay is the fourth largest urban area in Jamaica with a population of 82,867. Tourists flock to Montego Bay for stunning beaches, and snorkeling in the protected waters of Montego Bay Marine Park. 80% of the entire St. James Parish is dependent on tourism. Many children, young people and families live in informal settlements in the city.

Since 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Montego Bay.

Young people suffer from poor mental health

Young people need support

Adolescence is a time of many changes. As children turn into young people, they often experience strong and confusing feelings. In some cases, their mental health suffers. The most common mental health conditions are anxiety and depression. These can manifest into eating disorders, violence, drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts. In some cases, violence and aggression towards others are also common among boys and girls, they may bully others or carry weapons. Teen girls live in fear of being assaulted, raped or killed. When this happens, they need specialized support.

Of children under 15 experience violence

Children living with violence

Many Jamaican children and young people experience violence in their homes, schools and communities. Violent discipline at home is the most common form of violence. Many Jamaican children live through psychological aggression and corporal punishment. 3 out of 10 caregivers believe that physical punishment is a necessary part of discipline. These families need support so that they can live a life free of violence, and so that the children are not vulnerable to further abuse.

Your support makes a difference for children in Montego Bay

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
We try to show young people how to cook some basic meals so that they can look after themselves when they become independent (symbolic photo: SOS Children’s Villages Jamaica).

How your support helps in Montego Bay

Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.