The “Poverty Cycle” has been described as: “The seemingly endless continuation of poverty. Once a person or community falls below a certain level of resourcefulness, a chain of events starts to occur that tends to perpetuate the situation: progressively lower levels of education and training leading to lack of employment opportunities, leading to criminal activity for survival, leading to addiction, shattered health, early death, and breakup of family, leading to even bleaker future for the next generation … and so on. This cycle continues until someone intervenes by providing worthwhile means (not handouts) for people to climb out of destitution, and by ensuring children’s health and education.”
Each program established by the Holy Spirit Foundation is firmly grounded in this belief that the people must be provided with means to help themselves, rather than merely receive charity. As such, each program requires full participation, a degree of responsibility and follow-through on the part of the participants in the programs. There is priority placed on building up the entire community rather than only trying to attain individual desires. The basic tenets of Christian living are modeled and encouraged; however participants do not have to be members of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church to participate in the programs offered. The programs include a Children’s Education Program, Adult Literacy Classes, an Agricultural Program, a Health Clinic and a Community Center.
- Maggotty Jamaica Mission started with the donation of some land by Mrs. Lucille Lee for Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
- Father Marek and Father Andrew arrived January 1999.
- Marta Socha, missionary educator, arrived January 2001.
- Holy Spirit Catholic Church was dedicated June 2001.
- The Children’s education program and the clinic were started right away. As of 2012 school year 187 children are enrolled in the educational program. The original clinic was a converted 20 ft X 8 ft shipping container and opened March 2002.
- Because poverty is a multifaceted problem requiring a long-term comprehensive approach Holy Spirit Foundation was created July 2003.
- Sister Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus came to Jamaica and began their mission in September 2004.
- The Community Center was dedicated December 2006. The property grew to 14 acres.
- The Agricultural Project was started to raise funds for children’s educational program in 2007.
- The Meat Processing Facility and new Clinic were dedicated in October 2009. Patients are expected to pay $300 JA per clinic visit.
- The Meat Processing Facility began operating in a limited capacity in March 2012.