Info & Resources

Caring, Sharing, Training, and Uplifting – The Mustard Seed Communities

The Mustard Seed Communities is a faith based non-profit organization based in Kingston, Jamaica, which thrives on the healing and caring ministry of Jesus Christ of Nazareth as a core requisite to their functions. Founded under the principle of caring in 1978, the organization has remained committed to it’s mission.

They have moved to care, share and train up the most vulnerable in the society, offering hope and healing to the handicapped, abandoned children and marginalized communities of the urban inner cities.

Their mission is to deliver the message of the gospel of Christ, foster the value of love and service within any community, by educating volunteers, professionals and benefactors on the need for a direct alternative from secular humanism to faith based Christian living.

The Mustard Seed family is a multi-denominational one, tolerant of all denominations, race or creed. The ministry involves the training of those who are dependent on handouts, helping them to break the vicious cycle of frustration associated with joblessness and stagnation in the economy. It’s a family that teaches the poor to help the poor, psychologically, spiritually, physically, with dignity.

To best achieve this, Mustard Seed assists the oppressed by teaching them coping, life, parenting, family life, social and career skills. They also review institutional structures, whether national or local from the view of the marginalized, with the hope of being able to initiate practical ways of lifting the people from the traumatic experiences of poverty.

Mustard Seed Communities adopted a philosophy of caring for disabled and abandoned children. During recent years this program received international assistance from The UNDP (United Nations Human Development Program). The UNDP concluded that this way of caring was essential to any strategy for poverty alleviation.

Roman Catholic Priest Gregory Ramkissoon is the Executive Director of the Mustard Seed Communities. He believes caring influences body language, choice of speech, thought process and can help resolves disputes.

The Mustard Seed family considers the care that they offer the 250 disabled children in three different countries as their greatest source of inspiration. It’s a given privilege within and outside the community at large to be able to assist and offer value, empowering the young children.

The Community offers a variety of vocations to participants and volunteers. While the Mustard Seed Community is lead by Roman Catholic officials, no one is excluded or alienated as a result of religious beliefs. In fact all their religious functions have embraced a wider ecumenical spirit of community.

The Community member is expected to serve with a generous spirit and a strong commitment to the mission and purpose of Mustard Seed. He must be mature and able to act independantly and be self-motivated. The organization demands that all committed members must be capable of balancing their apostolic, academic, social and physical development.

The Mustard Seed Communities will accept candidates from practically anywhere in the world. You may volunteer regardless of whether it is short or long-term service that has been your calling. For all team players give nourishment and show by example a life of fulfillment inherent in the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Mustard Seed Communities, operate an Internet Centre for inner city youths called Zinc Link. This is expected to grow in different phases being situated on Mustard Seed properties. Zinc Link 1 was launched on March 7, 2002 as a computer training centre and Internet Café.

School children make up the majority of visitors and pay $1US per hour for the service.

Of note, Mustard Seed Communities have homes in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. An Aids Orphanage is also being constructed in Zimbabwe.

In an attempt to make Mustard Seed economically self-sufficient, a fish farm has been built and is successfully operational. Also up and running is a vegetable garden that is cultivated by two young souljah’s called Patrick and Benjie. Calaloo, okra, pumpkin, tomato, corn, cucumber and other nutritious plant foods are grown in aid of helping the needy. There is also an egg farm, and a card & ceramic production project.

Roots 96.1 FM, the voice of the inner city is a part of the Mustard Seed Communities wide-ranging effort to uplift the inner city areas of Kingston, St. Andrew and St Catherine, alleviating poverty and growing the human capital is this medium’s objective.

The residents of the broken communities are asked to adopt the station as their own, to make it help in their growth and development and let them assume ownership of the entity, being instrumental in the many goals.

Roots FM is seen as a media house that is made by the young FOR the young. Its’ General Manager Tony Young, has pioneered an alternative mix of entertainment, information and debates. Roots is seen as a day to day survival tool in the inner city. The station gives people from Rema, Hannah Town, Maxfield Avenue and Allman Town, troubled spots in the Corporate area, a chance to become presenters, reading news and hosting music shows, and staff members are paid a stipend.

For more information please visit the Mustard Seed Website or email them at:[email protected]

About the author

Staff Writer