Peace Corps

  • Info FoJ posted an article
    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. 

  • Info FoJ posted an article
    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.

  • Christopher Robinson posted an article
    Read the project report for the FOJ-supported project at Ritchies Primary School in Clarendon see more

    Recipient: Ritchies Primary School

    Amount Awarded by FOJ: $183.74 USD

     

    The sections below are taken from the awardee's final report, which you may download here.  

     

    I. Tell Your Story

    Describe the overall project impact, using any evidence/stories from a community member or your personal experience that attest to the project's impact.

     

    This program provided parents both with the knowledge to assist their children and the confidence to seek out more information for themselves. The 14 parents who attended consistently (lowest number was 9 and the highest was 22) laughed and joked around with their instructor, actively participated in class discussions, and often supported one another in understanding the new concepts as they were introduced. During their final session, a celebration of their work, the participants spoke to their excitement for class and for being together. The unintended benefit of this class is an increased sense of value the parents feel for themselves. They expressed that they felt like the teachers cared for them and they cared for themselves. The school community felt close knit and proud during the last session. The parents have now taken it upon themselves to continue the class and their learning. They will take a week off and return to the class on Monday, April 1st.

     

    II. Goals and objectives

    Were the project goals and objectives achieved? What can people do better now than before?

     

    The purpose of the program was to provide skills training at no cost to parents. We were successful in this goal, as our parents were given free child care and dinner in hopes of letting them concentrate on the instruction and class work. One mother was so grateful for this care and mentioned how integral the childcare was to helping her relax and focus on the math skills being taught. Our parents received an average of 15 hours of math instruction, as class often when late when the parents were reluctant to leave. The parents were pre-tested on their math skills. As we intend to continue the course, a post test has not yet been administered, but will be at the end of the year.

    Another of our goals was to continue the course. As mentioned above, the parents have taken initiative to continue the course and asking for expansion to more subjects and to reach for some certification of the course.

     

    III. Lessons Learned and Promising Practices

     

    While the free food was a nice draw, what people mentioned as most important for attendance was the childcare, the socialization, and what they saw as “taking care of themselves.” Creating spaces for parents to engage with one another and learning, without the pressure of watching children is a novel thing in Jamaican society. When a program provides those things, retention of participants is high.

     

    IV. People impacted

    Complete the table below with numbers of participants, beneficiaries and organizations that were impacted by the project.

     

    Impact indicator Number
    # of individuals directly benefiting from the project, including those who attended trainings or workshops 22
    # of community organizations and/or associations that have increased capacity due to this project 1
    # of individuals who will have increased capacity due to this project 26

    V. Attach supporting material for your project here, e.g. photos. (Please try to get photos with the people involved in the project).

     

  • Info FoJ posted an article
    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.