Helping Children Learn About The Importance of Trees

ttf books

Do Good Jamaica is pleased to assist Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) in the distribution of their book “Plant a Tree and Good Things Happen” to first grade students in rural St. Elizabeth.

Below is a release from the Trees That Feed Foundation

Educating young people on the many benefits of planting trees

Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) has distributed 2,500 educational coloring books to schoolchildren in Jamaica. Each 40 page book, titled Plant a Tree and Good Things Happen has sections focusing on the benefits of having fruit trees, including nutritious food, shade, carbon sequestration, soil retention and an improved local economy. As the children color each page they learn that good things can happen for the air, rivers, soil, birds, animals, and of course people and their jobs.

Trees That Feed Foundation is working in partnership with Deika Morrison of Do Good Jamaica, Dan Malone with the Peace Corps Jamaica, Paul Issa of The Issa Foundation, and BREDS/Jakes in Treasure Beach. Each leading partner will distribute the books to several schools in their local communities. A teacher’s guide accompanies each set of books. “Children and teachers alike will enjoy these fun educational books about an important topic to their Treasure Beach community in rural St. Elizabeth” said Ms. Morrison. “We anticipate that these books will be very impactful.”

The book is designed by the educational arm of Trees That Feed Foundation. It is most suitable for ages 5 to 10. Even adults will find it fun working with children and discussing the lessons on each page. “Over time generations of schoolchildren will appreciate the value of fruit trees to the environment and the economy,” said Mary McLaughlin, co-founder of TTFF.

A Kreyol version is distributed in Haiti and a Spanish version is currently being developed.

Trees That Feed Foundation is a US-based non-profit foundation whose mission is planting trees to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment. TTFF provides local communities and farmers with fruit-bearing trees, while being sensitive to the environment. By providing more than 130,000 fruit trees to communities throughout the Caribbean, TTFF has already helped reduce hunger, improved the environment and helped to create jobs.

For more information contact Mike and Mary McLaughlin

info@treesthatfeed.org

+1.312.315.0955 or +1.312.933.0241

www.treesthatfeed.org

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Jamaican Diaspora Volunteers Make an Indelible Mark in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth

L to R: Marlon Hill, former Diaspora Advisory Board member and Miami attorney, Deika Morrison, co-founder of Do Good Jamaica and irie + ital with volunteers Marcia Narine Weldon, University of Miami law professor and James Weldon, Miami firefighter, in front of Pedro Plains Infant School at the start of Day 1 activities

On July 27th, 2017, the designated Diaspora Day of Service across Jamaica, the Treasure Beach community welcomed attendees of the 7th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference for an entire weekend of service and fun. Volunteers – conference attendees, their friends from overseas, Jamaicans from other communities and local residents – worked together to improve the Pedro Plains Infant School facilities. This service project supported an ongoing Do Good Jamaica/Crayons Count pilot project in the community to help improve the quality of early childhood education and assist schools in their quest to achieve standards for certification by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Powered by irie + ital, this Diaspora Day of Service project included the collaboration of Do Good Jamaica, Breds Treasure Beach Foundation Jakes Hotel and painting supplies generously donated from National Supply. As a combination of fun and service, the experience was designed to engage diaspora visitors, their overseas friends and local Jamaicans with the community in a meaningful way. The Diaspora Day of Service was part of a weekend getaway that allowed participants to spend a few days enjoying the beautiful South Coast of Jamaica – sun, sea, sand and much more.

L to R: Marlon Hill, former Diaspora Advisory Board member and Miami attorney, Deika Morrison, co-founder of Do Good Jamaica and irie + ital with volunteers Marcia Narine Weldon, University of Miami law professor and James Weldon, Miami firefighter, in front of Pedro Plains Infant School at the start of Day 1 activities

L to R: Marlon Hill, former Diaspora Advisory Board member and Miami attorney, Deika Morrison, co-founder of Do Good Jamaica and irie + ital with volunteers Marcia Narine Weldon, University of Miami law professor and James Weldon, Miami firefighter, in front of Pedro Plains Infant School at the start of Day 1 activities

“The weekend of service and fun was a fitting way to end an inspiring week of Jamaican diaspora activities. We shared ideas, connected with each other from around the world, and invested in the local economy. This service project highlighted the importance of early childhood education and community tourism”, stated Marlon Hill, former Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the Southern United States and Miami attorney.

Led by local Treasure Beach mural artist, Top Hill Pastor Dennis Bennett, volunteers helped to paint an educational mural to promote literacy, numeracy and national pride, featuring national symbols and heroes.

 

Dennis Bennett with Deika Morrison and Marlon Hill

Dennis Bennett with Deika Morrison and Marlon Hill

 

Day 1 Volunteer Group Photo

Day 1 Volunteer Group Photo

 

Day 2 Volunteer Group Photo

Day 2 Volunteer Group Photo

“The school asked for this mural. They had a new beautiful building that did not yet have educational artwork typical of early childhood institutions across Jamaica. As the building was made possible by Diaspora members, it was a perfect fit for the artwork to be done by Diaspora members – deepening those cross-border networks and partnerships.”, explained Deika Morrison, co-founder of Do Good Jamaica and irie + ital. Last June, Pedro Plains Basic School received a new building – to facilitate much needed classroom space – made possible by Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, Donovan Bailey Foundation, Breds Treasure Beach Foundation and Food For The Poor (US, Canada and Jamaica).

While Hill and his family and friends hailed from the US and Trinidad, the UK was represented by Nathaniel Peat, Chairman of Jamaicans Inspired UK and organization members. “Assisting the Do Good Jamaica project for the children was so important to us at Jamaicans Inspired UK, as we are driven to help and empower young people in supporting Jamaica to rise. We had an amazing time working with our diaspora partners.” shared Peat who did not let three blown out tires en-route from Kingston stop the group, including Zeena Banks, winner of the Song For Jamaica competition, from participating.

Jamaicans Inspired UK crew with Deika Morrison

Jamaicans Inspired UK crew with Deika Morrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathaniel Peat and Keisha Swaby, Jamaicans Inspired UK

Nathaniel Peat and Keisha Swaby, Jamaicans Inspired UK

Zeena Banks, Jamaicans Inspired UK

Zeena Banks, Jamaicans Inspired UK

The mural also benefitted from other professionals, namely Treasure Beach’s very own Sally Henzell and Staysean Daley of Kraas Images. Dave Smith, a 15 year old Newell High School student and up and coming artist, gave a much needed helping hand.

 

Sally and Justine Henzell

Sally and Justine Henzell

Staysean Daley, Kraas Images

Staysean Daley, Kraas Images

Dave Smith, Newell High School student

Dave Smith, Newell High School student

Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, which includes Treasure Beach, and Minister of State for Education, Information and Youth, Floyd Green came by to paint with the group. “I think the day of service is an excellent idea which adds tremendous value to the diaspora conference by allowing members to truly tap into the heart and soul of their country through projects. Truly honoured that this project focused on rural Jamaica and Early Childhood Education. The children will be forever grateful that team was willing to give of their time and energy to beautify their space but more importantly to reaffirm their commitment to working with all stakeholders to enhance early childhood education. The people of St. Bess say thanks.” said Green.

MP and Minister of State for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green

MP and Minister of State for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green

Volunteers also helped to beautify the school grounds and made donations of books and school administration supplies.

Rushane from Jakes Hotel with the hotel’s weed wacker

Rushane from Jakes Hotel with the hotel’s weed wacker

Margaret Ebanks of Jakes Hotel

Margaret Ebanks of Jakes Hotel

Marlon Hill painting a wall

Marlon Hill painting a wall

Hazel Bethel weeding

Hazel Bethel, Trinidadian-American, weeding.

Tanya Batson Savage, publishers of Blue Banyan Books, came in from Kingston to paint and brought books with her. “I’ve been going to Treasure Beach for over a decade, mostly for Calabash [International Literary Festival] but at other times as well. I’ve found it a beautiful little space, and going there for Calabash means that I have many wonderful experiences wrapped up in Treasure Beach. So when I saw the flyer I thought it was an excellent opportunity to give back to a place I’d reaped so much creative energy from”, shared Batson-Savage. ”We talk a lot about the country’s development needs, but enough of us aren’t willing to put our sweat where our mouth is.”

Tanya Batson-Savage with Ms. Daye, 5 year olds teacher

Tanya Batson-Savage with Ms. Daye, 5 year olds teacher

Our volunteers certainly did sweat and much more. While helping out, community member Christopher Ennevor saw a need for locks to secure the school so went home and brought some new ones he had just bought for his own home. Justine Henzell drove in from Kingston and before she could get started saw a need for a toilet seat cover, jumped in her car, went to the hardware store, bought one and installed it herself. “We love this!” said an excited Morrison. “This is what the Crayons Count model is all about – every single person can do something in some way. We didn’t even ask. They just saw and did. One one cocoa full basket, indeed!”

Christopher Ennevor putting on new locks

Christopher Ennevor putting on new locks

Justine Henzell installing a new toilet seat cover

Justine Henzell installing a new toilet seat cover

Upon deciding he was coming for this trip to volunteer for the service activities and have some fun getting to know the community of Treasure Beach, Weldon, with no ties to Jamaica other than Jamaican friends, asked what was needed.  “We asked for 26 extinguishers  – 2 for each school in our Crayons Count pilot project in the greater Treasure Beach area – and said we help all 2,500+ early childhood institutions islandwide so whatever he can arrange will be helpful”, explained Morrison. Each early childhood institution in Jamaica is required to have two (2) fire extinguishers to meet the fire safety standards of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Weldon reached out to his Miami Dade County Fire Rescue colleagues for ideas on possible sources for fire extinguisher donations. His fire rescue colleague, Tony Cueto, suggested making contact with Jack Kenton, President of A.B. Fire Equipment, Inc., a South Florida fire equipment company and arranged for fire extinguishers to be donated to Jamaican early childhood institutions. Neither Weldon, Cueto nor Kenton are Jamaican.

“This is really an amazing story”, continued Morrison “We were thrilled to hear the possibility of 35 units.  Our partner, Food For The Poor (FFP), generously agreed to collect the extinguishers and ship them to Jamaica for us.  But when FFP went to collect them, there were 102 extinguishers. 102! That means 50 schools will benefit in Treasure Beach and beyond. These are the partnerships we are talking about – between Diaspora members and between Jamaica, the Diaspora and their non-Jamaican friends.”

L to R: James Weldon, Ms. Kenisha Daye, Marlon Hill inside Ms. Daye’s classroom

L to R: James Weldon, Ms. Kenisha Daye, Marlon Hill inside Ms. Daye’s classroom

Robin Mahfood, CEO of Food For The Poor (FFP), with the fire extinguishers in FFP warehouse

Robin Mahfood, CEO of Food For The Poor (FFP), with the fire extinguishers in FFP warehouse

Weldon shared “We were proud and honored to participate in the weekend of fun and service. Most importantly, we are overjoyed to be able to help Jamaican schools with the incoming contribution of 102 fire extinguishers from AB Fire in South Florida to assist with the certification of Jamaican basic schools. Big thanks to Food for The Poor for helping to ship the donation.”

“The Jamaican Diaspora is not solely composed of persons of Jamaican descent, but also includes our extended family and friends. We accomplish these unexpected moments when we simply provide opportunities for our family and friends to make contributions related their own talent, profession or resources,” stated Hill.

On hand for both afternoon and morning were Ms. Denise Smith, the teacher for the three year olds and Ms. Kenisha Daye, the teacher for the five year olds. The teachers were visibly excited and expressed their gratitude to the volunteers. “This will help to transform our children’s lives along with the teachers in a big way. Each day we attend school we will always remember your kindness. Our national heroes and emblems will remind us of working hard and the hard work of the team and that will put a smile on our faces every day.” shared Ms. Smith.

Pleased as punch! Ms. Denise Smith, the teacher for the 3 year olds, smiles as she watches the progress of the volunteers

Pleased as punch! Ms. Denise Smith, the teacher for the 3 year olds, smiles as she watches the progress of the volunteers

“We the staff of the Pedro Plains Basic School would like to say a big thank you to the persons who came out to make our school environment more beautiful and conducive to the teaching and learning process. We are very appreciative of the interest shown by persons from here and abroad and words are inadequate to express just how grateful we are. Again, I want to say thank you and look forward to your continued support as we continue to prepare our little ones to become positive citizens for a better tomorrow” said Ms. Daye.  The teachers personally thanked Weldon as did Floyd Green who underscored the significance of this incredible donation to local schools.

After the service which was itself fun – with plenty of vibes with music, fresh coconut water, delicious St. Elizabeth watermelon and more – the vacation time allowed for even deeper bonds to be made with the community in the few days that our visitors had to experience its unique charm. Jakes Hotel, on site for the service project with staff, resources such as the gardening tools, refreshments and more, was a welcome home to our visiting volunteers. In the days that followed, visitors rested rejuvenated and had fun at the one and only world famous Floyd’s Pelican Bar, Breds Sports Park, in the community and with wellness and entertainment options offered by Jakes and Jack Sprat. “Everybody says they are coming back again for more service and more fun. That’s what we love to hear” said Morrison.

Music on the Marley speakers

Music on the Marley speakers while Carla Hill, Trinidadian-American, carefully paints her ‘C’ and ‘c’

Marlon Hill enjoying a fresh coconut on-site thanks to Jakes Hotel

Marlon Hill enjoying a fresh coconut on-site thanks to Jakes Hotel

Good good St. Elizabeth watermelon

Good good St. Elizabeth watermelon

 

Group recharging at Pelican Bar

Group recharging at Pelican Bar

Dominoes is a must (Pelican Bar)

Dominoes is a must (Pelican Bar)

Ras Katri live at Jakes

Ras Katri live at Jakes

Yoga with Empress at Jakes

Yoga with Empress at Jakes

Breds Sports Park

Breds Sports Park

“Our Jamaican diaspora is an important extension of the Jamaican family and critical to our national development. This Weekend of Fun and Service project was a testament to what we can accomplish together when we organize around common values of philanthropy, service, and community building,” noted Hill.

For more photos, see Do Good Jamaica’s Facebook album: Diaspora Day of Service – Treasure Beach

For more about recent donations to the Crayons Count pilot project schools, see here

For more about the school build mentioned above, see Do Good Jamaica’s storify here


About irie + ital
irie + ital, an initiative of Carleene Samuels, Deika Morrison and Justine Henzell, creates conscious lifestyle events and projects in Jamaica that support social causes and contribute to the growing movement towards mindful living and culture. Visit irieandital.com.

About Do Good Jamaica
A non-governmental organization that supports individuals and organizations doing good deeds in Jamaica. With a special interest in children and education, Do Good Jamaica’s project Crayons Count is a campaign to support early childhood education and development. Since 2011, Crayons Count has supported every early childhood institution in Jamaica – registered with the Early Childhood Commission – with recommended learning tools, teacher workshops and more. For information about the special Crayons Count pilot project, visit dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/treasurebeach and how to help dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/howtohelp

About Breds Treasure Beachf Foundation
A wholly volunteer-based charitable organization run by members of the community, for the benefit of the community in Treasure Beach, a small, rural enclave on Jamaica’s undeveloped South Coast where fishing and farming are still common ways of life. Breds works in partnership to effect social change, especially for youth, via education, sports and environmental conservation. Visit breds.org

About Jakes Hotel
Nestled in the picturesque fishing village of Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south coast, Jakes is a bohemian resort with an earthy, relaxed style. A fantastical, magical realist feast of eclectic structures, with rooms, cottages and villas beside the Caribbean Sea. Visit jakeshotel.com

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Building a Strong Foundation: The Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park & Academy

Pure fun at the Acro Yoga Fest 2017

It was Helen Keller who said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’. It is in this spirit that numerous non-profit organizations and foundations from diverse backgrounds came together to form a strong partnership that has been and continues to be beneficial to the young and the old in the Greater Treasure Beach area. This partnership, with a focus on strategic alliance and coordination has facilitated capacity building and community improvement through the creation of the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park & Academy.

Pure fun at the Acro Yoga Fest 2017

Pure fun at the Acro Yoga Fest 2017

A perfect example of what happens when community, tourism, collaboration and integration combine in positive, holistic way; the park was founded in 2004 with Phase 1 opening in 2010. The Sports Park is the brainchild of Jason Henzell, Chairman of Jakes Hotel and Breds Treasure Beach Foundation. A 17 acre community hub with tons of activities to offer, the park features tennis and multipurpose courts for basketball and netball, batting cages, two pavilions, cricket pitches, football fields, gym and a children’s play area with play equipment. Currently, a swimming pool and a dance and drama facility, funded by UNICEF Jamaica, are under construction.

The tennis court

The basketball court with the tennis court and a football field in the distance.

The park attracts thousands of visitors including athletes and sponsors from around the world, for example former professional boxer, Lennox Lewis, Jamaican cricketer and a former captain of the West Indies cricket team, Chris Gayle and professional tennis superstars, Serena and Venus Williams as hosts and/or participants in camps and sporting events for young people.

Cricketer, Chris Gayle and Chairman, Jason Henzell at the Chris Gayle Invitational

Cricketer, Chris Gayle and Chairman, Jason Henzell at the Chris Gayle Invitational

Importantly, the park provides children and young people with access to competition level athletic facilities. With enough space to house 1,500 kids, the park has been used a great tool in reaching the youth of the area through involvement in sports such as tennis, football, track and field, cricket, boxing, basketball and much more. Camps and youth development initiatives are welcomed at the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park & Academy as a means of improving youth by arming them with leadership, teamwork and socialization skills through sports for social change.

Ready,set...GO!

Ready,set…GO!

Earlier this summer, the Lennox Lewis League of Champions held their one week boxing and life skills camp for the first time in Treasure Beach at the sports park.

Look at that focus

One of the record number of  young female campers at the Lennox Lewis League of Championship Camp.

This August, the Philadelphia Men’s Basketball League (PMBL) Youth Basketball Camp will be held for the 5th consecutive year, combining basketball and life skills coaching, for more than 500 children and young people. Video below shows a summary of the 2015 camp:

The Sport Park also boosts an amazing element: a challenge course. Constructed in 2013, the General Colin Powell Challenge Course features a rope course, wall climbing and military style challenges. It is the first of its kind in Jamaica and takes participants through a series of physical and mental challenges under the supervision of trained facilitators. The course was developed by Breds Treasure Beach Foundation in partnership with Jamaica Defence Force, UNICEF, Jamaica Power Company (JPS), Orstrom Foundation, Rise Life and Seeds of Peace. Designed to test limits, the course also helps to foster a sense of camaraderie, trust and co-operation among participants.

Group activity with the Jamaica Defence Force

Group activity with the Jamaica Defence Force

Climbing to higher heights

Climbing to higher heights

Visiting ninja warriors, Travis Brewer and Nicholas Coolidge, built a ninja course and have added to it every year. This video summarizes the first year build:

The park was home to the ‘Who’s the Real Ninja’ Competition in 2017 as it houses a ninja course which has been expanded to accommodate new features including a Movement Playground which consists of more technical obstacles and challenges and focuses on strengthening the body, mind and spirit with a little bit of play thrown in.

The ninja course in action

The ninja course in action

The wall is pretty hard to beat

The wall is pretty hard to beat

The Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park & Academy has been a shining beacon in the Greater Treasure beach area as it continues to serve the community. The park is also open to fitness buffs of all walks of life with the equipment and the space to get heart rates pumping or for lighthearted fun.  All fitness levels and event types welcome – from competitive sporting events, to organized camps and individual or team casual enjoyment. Come work out, be fit or just play.

Fitness buffs welcome

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Jamaican Diaspora Weekend of Service and Fun – July 2017

DIASPORA - IG (1)

 

The 7th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is set to unfold from July 22-26, 2017 in Kingston Jamaica under the theme of Partnering for Growth. July 27, 2017 has been designated as Diaspora Day of Service across the island. Through a partnership of Do Good Jamaica and Breds Treasure Beach Foundation, attendees, visitors and local citizens, will have an opportunity to make a tangible contribution to early childhood education in the greater Treasure Beach area of St. Elizabeth.

The Diaspora Day of Service activities support an ongoing Crayons Count pilot project in the greater Treasure Beach area to help improve the quality of early childhood education and assist early childhood institutions in their quest to achieve certification by the Early Childhood Commission.  Volunteers can paint an educational mural featuring national symbols and heroes, beautify school grounds, and donate educational supplies.

The Diaspora Day of Service is part of a weekend getaway that allows participants to spend a few days enjoying the beautiful South Coast of Jamaica – sun, sea, sand and much more.  This is a chance for some to reconnect with their rural roots and others to experience community tourism in magical Treasure Beach.  Powered by Irie and Ital, the getaway is a combination of service and fun featuring special accommodation rates from Jakes Hotel and a range of social, cultural, nature-based and adventure-filled activity options.

Weekend Getaway

“As Jamaicans living across the world, we wanted to underscore the message of committing to one project to donate our time, talent, and resources. This Diaspora Day of Service will not only connect us to land of birth, it will have a profound impact into the next generation of youth in this local community,”  stated Marlon Hill, Miami attorney and former Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the Southern United States.

“A key aspect of Do Good Jamaica, and its project Crayons Count, is to emphasize the power of partnerships.  Throughout Jamaica’s history, one of the strongest partnerships has been across borders – between the Diaspora and local residents, especially for education and in rural areas.  With this event, we not only build on those strong relationships but also provide an opportunity for participants to experience the special warmth of community tourism” noted Deika Morrison, consultant and co-founder of Do Good Jamaica and Irie and Ital.

With Diaspora engagement seen as an important developmental tool worldwide and with Jamaica’s growing diaspora population, the biennial conference is expected to tap into our global talent and resources for more transformational partnerships in Jamaica.

About Irie and Ital

irie+ital_horizontal_no BG

Irie and Ital, an initiative of Carleene Samuels, Deika Morrison and Justine Henzell, creates conscious lifestyle events and projects in Jamaica that support social causes and contribute to the growing movement towards mindful living and culture. Visit irieandital.com

Facebook: Irie + Ital

Twitter: @irieandital

Instagram: @irie.and.ital 

 

About Do Good Jamaica

logo_small.png

A non-governmental organization that supports individuals and organizations doing good deeds in Jamaica.  With a special interest in children and education, Do Good Jamaica’s project Crayons Count is a campaign to support early childhood education and development.  Since 2011, Crayons Count has supported every early childhood institution in Jamaica – registered with the Early Childhood Commission – with recommended learning tools, teacher workshops and more.  For information about the special Crayons Count pilot project, visit dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/treasurebeach.

Facebook: Do Good Jamaica

Twitter: @doGOODJamaica

Instagram: @dogoodjamaica

Facebook: Crayons Count

Twitter: @CrayonsCount

 

About Breds Treasure Beach Foundation

breds logo

A wholly volunteer-based charitable organization run by members of the community, for the benefit of the community in Treasure Beach, a small, rural enclave on Jamaica’s undeveloped South Coast where fishing and farming are still common ways of life.  Breds works in partnership to effect social change, especially for youth, via education, sports and environmental conservation.  Visit breds.org

Facebook: Breds Treasure Beach Foundation

Twitter: @bredsfoundation

Instagram: @bredstreasurebeach

 

About Jakes Hotel

jakes logo

Nestled in the picturesque fishing village of Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south coast, Jakes is a bohemian resort with an earthy, relaxed style.  A fantastical, magical realist feast of eclectic structures, with rooms, cottages and villas beside the Caribbean Sea.  Visitjakeshotel.com

Facebook: Jakes Resort

Twitter: @JakesHotel

Instagram: @jakestreasurebeach

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VOUCH Becomes State-Of-The-Art Early Childhood Centre

Starting this September, the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) will begin its transformation into a state-of-the-art facility for the assessment of children with special needs at the early childhood level.

The welcomed change is expected  to re-position the non-governmental agency as the only highly equipped centre for assessment diagnostic and therapeutic centre for the early childhood sector. Beneficiaries will receive proper diagnosis, timely assurance, as well  as therapy for parents and teachers among other things. The Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) recently donated 10 computers valued at $600,000 to VOUCH. Speaking at the official handing over, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites expressed his confidence in the expected improvements to the early childhood sector from the project.

Read the Full Story Here: The Jamaica Observer 

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Northern Manchester Gets Technology Boost

Evadne Cowell (right), training specialist, Digicel Foundation, presents new Digicel 4G broadband modems to principals from 12 all-age and primary schools in Manchester. Occasion was the handover of computers and Digicel modems to 12 schools as part of the foundation's Project 1000 initiative at the Greenvale Community Centre on Friday, February 28.

Evadne Cowell (right), training specialist, Digicel Foundation, presents new Digicel 4G broadband modems to principals from 12 all-age and primary schools in Manchester. Occasion was the handover of computers and Digicel modems to 12 schools as part of the foundation’s Project 1000 initiative at the Greenvale Community Centre on Friday, February 28.

The Digicel Foundation‘s Project 1000 has moved a  step closer in meeting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal of achieving 100 per cent literacy by 2015. The Foundation donated five computers to twelve schools in northern Manchester in a hand over ceremony held on February 28, at the Greenvale Computer Lab in Manchester.

The schools set to benefit from this initiative are: Somerset All-Age, Medina All-Age, Comfort Hall All-Age, Colely Mountain all-Age, Fairfield Primary, Huntley All-Age, Nazareth All-Age, Bethany Primary, Harry Watch All-Age, Hatfield Primary and Junior High, Auchtembeddie Primary, and Mayfield Basic School.

“We remain committed to ensuring the further growth and development of students across Jamaica. Since the launch of Project 1000, nearly 3,000 students have benefited from this programme” stated Samantha Chantrelle, CEO of the Digicel Foundation. The foundation remains committed to playing an active part in the growth and development of students Islandwide. Nearly 3,000 students have benefited from the Project 1000 programme.

See the Full Story Here: The Jamaica Gleaner

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Stewart’s Hardware Invests In the Youth Through Art

Garvey Maceo High student, Olufemi Allen (left) proudly shows off his Stewart's Hardware  plaque for the 'Most Outstanding Art Piece' and NCB Gift Certificate  with Junior Atkinson, head of department and art teacher

Garvey Maceo High student, Olufemi Allen (left) proudly shows off his Stewart’s Hardware plaque for the ‘Most Outstanding Art Piece’ and NCB Gift Certificate with Junior Atkinson, head of department and art teacher

Dubbed the ‘largest hardware store in Clarendon’, Stewart’s Hardware Limited has shown keen interest in building solid, long lasting relationships with the youth of the surrounding communities of May Pen and Central Jamaica.

The stores annual art show, ‘Art Affair‘ has retained its distinct feature of reaching out to surrounding school communities such as Vere Technical High, Garvey Maceo High, Glemuir High, Spanish Town High, and Foga Road High for support. The calendar event combines the students raw talent with the skill of renowned Jamaican artists –Webster Campbell, Ray Jackson, Jeffery Perry among others- to produce an art show that has had a positive impact on the students involved.

“It is refreshing to see the confidence and excitement displayed by the students towards visual art as a result of being involved in this Stewart’s community project. Despite the challenges, there has been significant change in the students’ attitude in the three years they have been participating. They now look forward to the ‘Art Affair’ and are eager to learn from their peers and the more seasoned artists.” explained Junior Atkinson, head of the Art Department at Garvey Maceo.

In December last year, Stewart’s Hardware introduced an Inter-Secondary School Art Competition which was judged by a panel of veteran artists who assessed the students’ mastery of originality, concept creation, use of lighting and contrast.

See Full Story Here: The Jamaica Gleaner

Follow Them on Facebook: Stewart’s Hardware Limited

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All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development :USAID & World Vision

‘Literacy unlocks human potential.’- AllChildrenReading.org

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with World Vision and the Australian government, launched the second round of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development on February 27. The main aim of the Literacy Grant Competition is to award a total of $2.7 million to programs and initiatives that seek to empower children by challenging any dysfunctional infrastructure that may hinder the reading process.

Grant applications are under-way on the website www.AllChildrenReading.org.

The second round will be primarily focused on the use of effective and cost-efficient tools and methods instrumental in nurturing not only a thirst for knowledge but an appreciation for global science, technology, education and broader development.

The three main areas are:

• Mother tongue instruction and reading materials.

• Family and community engagement.

• Children with disabilities.

Additionally, a $100,000 “Enabling Writers” prize that calls for organizations and individuals to create innovative software that can be used to draft early grade reading materials in local languages is offered by the All Children Reading partners.

The USAID in 2011, developed the All Children Reading Grand Challenge for Development in order to reach its goal of getting 100 million children reading by 2015. USAID is centred on finding solutions to improve reading skills for children in the early grades.

To learn more about All Children Reading, the second grant competition and the Enabling Writers prize, go to the competition website.

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Work and Life: Personal Passions for Social Good-Deika Morrison

deikamorrison~s600x600

 

Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica was the subject of discussion on the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project, on Sirius XM’s Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School. The interview focused on the ability to successfully integrate social good, business ingenuity and  individualistic goals and dreams.

In the first hour of Work and Life on February 25, Stew Friedman, host and director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project delved deep into the life of  Ms Deika Morrison. View excerpts here from the Wharton website.

Doing good, feels good. 

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#NPRWIT: A Day In The Life- Deika Morrison & Technology

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Photo credit: NPR. Deika Morrison, bottom right

From the role of social media in society to the potential power of charitable organizations, today’s live Twitter chat with NPR  at @TellMeMoreNPR and Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica was inspiring and uplifting. Missed out on all the amazing ideas?

Click this highlighted link (NPR) for the chat; filled with stimulating tweets, images and quotes from Storify.

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