When Save the Children UK, which began operation in 1989, was phased out, Children first was formed in 1997. Children First is a unique community based organisation which uses creative participatory and developmental approaches in providing life chaging programmes for children and adolescents. Based in Spanish Town, St. Catherine Children First is Jamaica’s largest agency of it’s type, offering social, educational and programmes for youngsters within the ten (10) to twenty-four (24) age group, while empowering their parents and guardians to overcome poverty and enhance family life through successful skills training and small business projects.
A Jamaica in which children are active participants in a country which respects, protects and fulfills their rights to develop to their full potential, free from abuse and neglect.
The Mission of Children First is to work with street, working and vulnerable children to improve their life opportunities and enable their contribution to society, through active engagement with children and young people, their families, communities and institutions which affect their lives.
Children First is operated by a team of dedicated and hardworking team of administrators and facilitators who are either volunteers or employees. Claudette Richardson-Pious personifies those outstanding qualities most cherished among our Caribbean women. She is loving, strong, hard working; creative, determined, invincible. She is a Master Trainer, Cultural Approaches Consultant, Counsellor, Child Rights and HIV/AIDS activist who empowers young people and communities to strive for excellence.
It was during her early career at Kingston College, that she became so concerned with the issues impacting her apparently delinquent students, that she realized she should be a Guidance Counsellor rather than a teacher, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of the West Indies and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Cambridge. Claudette Richardson-Pious is also an award winning, much loved and very successful lady dramatist, who in 2005, received the prestigious Gleaner Honour Award for her contributions in the field of entertainment. In 2008 she was a joint Caribbean Laureate of the Anthony N. Sabga Foundation for Public and Civic contribution to Jamaica’s children and young people as well as a First Global Bank Honoree for her work at Children First Agency.
Vandrea Thompson has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Children First family. She is a true reflection and testimony of the agency’s work. As a student Vandrea benefitted from the agency while attending high school and as since risen through the ranks to presently holding a senior management post as Administrator, a position she has held for the past ten years. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management at University of Technology.
Where We Work
Although Children First’s head office is located at 9 Monk Street, Spanish Town, we operate from two other locations in Spanish Town. They are: 8-10 Adelaide Street and 3 Wellington Street. Located at Adelaide Street, is our computer lab, a saloon and home of the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Programme. Wellington Street houses the Youth Wellness Centre. These centres serve the communities in Spanish Town and its environs.
We also operate an office at 2 Moresham Avenue, Kingston 10. It is home to the Bashy Bus Crew. Bashy Bus also operates from tthe offices of the North East Regional Health Authority in St. Ann. They are available for bookings island-wide. There is also a Children First Outreach Centre at 2 Peters Lane, Old Harbour Bay. This centre serves the fishing community of Old Harbour Bay.