FOJ Supports the Lesma Ellis Foundation see more
The Lesma Ellis Foundation (LEF) is a community organization whose mission is to be committed to the educational advancement, social development and well-being of adolescents and senior citizens throughout inner-city and rural Jamaica. LEF hopes to achieve this by providing mentorship, guidance, encouragement and confidence in future leaders.
Friends of Jamaica recently supported the LEF through its grant program. With FOJ funding, the Foundation provided young men and women from inner city Kingston and Cedar Valley Primary School in St. Thomas with tablets and computers to bridge the online teaching and learning environment gap. In addition to the computers, tablets, and a school scholarship donated to the Cedar Valley Primary School, LEF donated tablets to children at the Child Development Center/Early Stimulus Program and the Torrington Park Housing Scheme in Kingston. The computers donated to Cedar Valley primary School will aid in the automation of school processes utilized by educators and administration. In addition to providing devices, LEF also taught students device maintenance and responsibility and ensured access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) based learning.
For more information on LEF, visit their website.
FOJ helps farmers in St. Ann Parish see more
The main purpose of this project was to help mitigate climatic conditions, which has adversely affected the nation, and its ability to feed the people. The project creates a space using the inherent natural resources that will enhance the standards and quality of life. The project employed methods to utilize this space to teach persons in a practical manner to minimize their carbon footprint. This project will be a model in the use of eco-sustainable farming and living.
From the applicant: "We had a few workshops with about 12-15 persons per workshop, also we worked with about 20 farmers in the area. Our main goal was not reached, as persons could not come out as planned. We worked with approximately 88 persons. We pray that they share the information. There might have to be some update classes /workshops for some persons."
PCVs use technology to benefit over 60 Jamaican students. see more
FOJ recently supported Epping Forrest Primary School in purchasing a projector to improve educational opportunities for teachers and students. While students previously had to crowd around a small computer monitor to view instructional videos, they can now all easily see these videos projected on the classroom whiteboards. Teachers can more easily explain what is seen in the videos, using pointers to emphasize information illustrated in charts, statistics, pictures, etc. The projector is being increasingly used in all classrooms, with over 60 students benefiting from this new technology.
The school principal is also using the projector for staff training to inform teachers about changes in the core curriculum being designed by the Ministry of Education to bring Jamaican education in line with the twenty-first century, especially in regard to the use of technology in the classroom.
The project was led by current PCVs Susan MacBryde and Evan Gangi, alongside their Jamaican counterparts. "It's great to see the teachers so excited about using the projector in their classrooms. It will make all the difference in their teaching practice. We also have student teachers now who are seeing the benefits as well," said Susan.
FOJ is proud to support initiatives that utilize technology to improve education. We hope the projector will continue to be used for a wide variety of educational activities.
Construction continues a commercial aquaponics system equipped with solar power and rain harvesting. see more
FOJ recently gave EarthStrong support for a project in St. Ann parish to establish a community-based rural enterprise by constructing a commercial aquaponics system equipped with solar power and rain harvesting equipment.
Although heavy rains and other challenges have delayed the project, the land has now been prepared and foundations set. Construction will continue to install the agriculture equipment in conjunction with climate change workshops for stakeholders.
Stay tuned to FOJ for updates on this ongoing project. Earthstrong is dedicated to diversifying and promoting agriculture to propel the economy while effectively making an impact in community outreach. Learn more about the organization on their website.
FOJ supports Westmoreland Organic Farmers Society. see more
Friends of Jamaica provided funds for Westmoreland Organic Farmers Society (WOFS) to refurbish their office and community workspace. WOFS has a membership of 25 farmers with an irrigated organic demonstration farm, beehives and aquaponics, develops produce sold at local markets (harvesting honey, sorrel, jams, beer etc.) and provides training on multiple subjects.
With a grant from FOJ and money raised from stakeholders, WOFS replaced their office roof and front stairs providing an office space that is structurally safe and weather secure, creating positive benefits for the organization. It allows business conducted in the office to focus on group activities rather than being side-tracked by leaks when it rains or worrying about how a roof that was literally falling apart could get fixed. The project also instills a sense of pride, camaraderie and accomplishment as the WOFS members came together with the help of the wider community to upgrade their office.