Jubilation was etched on the faces of five wards of the State from the Mount Olivet Boys Home in Walderston, Manchester, who departed from the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston for a two-week tour of France on July 6, with World Olympian, Yohan Blake.
The boys who are between the ages of 13 to 19 years are currently enrolled in secondary schools in the parish, and are involved in a number of athletic programmes within the home, spearheaded by benefactor of the institution Yohan Blake.
Giving an overview of Yohan Blake’s ‘YB Afraid Foundation’, Executive Director for the Foundation, Melissa McIntosh, said that the boys were selected to participate in the tour because of their academic achievements and overall conduct. They were also given a challenge to create a design to be placed on one of Richard Mille’s car, Swiss Watch Maker and personal sponsor for World Olympian, Yohan Blake. Mr. Mille is also the main sponsor of tour that the youngsters will be participating in.
“The design that the boys came up with had to capture the Jamaican colours and Yohan Blake’s athletic spirit, which they did. As a reward for their effort, both organizers decided to treat the youngsters in fine style by sponsoring the tour, given the fact that they are academic achievers and talented. Both Yohan and Richard were amazed by the design that the boys created, which is to be unveiled at the Le Mans Classic in France, the main activity of the tour,” Miss McIntosh noted.
The Le Mans Classic Show is a three-day event being held from July eight to 10 at the Le Mans Circuit in Le Mans, France. This event showcases over 8,000 classic cars and 110,000 sports car enthusiasts.
Speaking about the tour, Yohan Blake said he is very excited about the trip, which he said will be an adventure for the boys in a totally different country, allowing them to experience a different culture.
“I just want them to have a different experience from what they are use to, because many of them are not really exposed to travelling to countries outside of Jamaica. My overall aim is to make a difference in the lives of these boys, so I just want them to have fun and experience France at its best, because they deserve it,” Yohan Blake said.
He added that the experience will provide him with an opportunity to interact more with the boys, who will be accompanied and supervised by a caregiver from the Home throughout the trip.
“I have a great rapport with the boys and the Mount Olivet Boys Home family, because I have been sponsoring a number of programmes there over the years, such as athletics, back to school, etiquette and grooming, computer, dancing and have been a mentor for the youngsters since 2012. It is an awesome feeling to know that my sponsor, Richard Mille also share in the vision I have for the boys. I am extremely happy for them,” the World Olympian said.
The tour will see the boys participating in several activities, including a visit to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, museums, art galleries, amusement parks and other attractions.
Commending Yohan Blake and Swiss Watch Maker, Richard Mille for sponsoring the tour, Manager at Mount Olivet Boy’s Home, Patrick Newman said that the experience will indeed be a rewarding one for the boys, which they are truly appreciative of and are looking forward to participate in.
“We are overjoyed because of the involvement of the YB Afraid Foundation, which has truly motivated the boys over the years. Yohan is very dedicated towards the boys and the Home by extension, because he believes in making the youngsters well-rounded, enabling them to have a brighter future. I just want them to savour the moment and have a phenomenal experience,” Mr. Newman said.
The boys are scheduled to return to Jamaica on July 18.
Contact: Child Development Agency
Public Relations Unit