Hello from Jamaica!

We are here in Jamaica meeting with our partners to discuss the impact of their work and to also gather stories from individuals who have been part of their programmes over the years.  We thought we would send you an email to tell you a bit about what is happening here.

We arrived on Sunday night and have a tight schedule, visiting two partners each day.  On Monday we went to see Mrs. Malcolm, the principal of Tavares Gardens Primary School.  The school was bustling with activity – while we talked with the principal we could hear the recorders being played in a distant classroom.  We have promised to help refurbish the library there, so we also spent time taking photos and talking about what it will look like when it’s finished.

On Tuesday we drove from Kingston across the mountains to Annotto Bay on the north coast to visit St. Theresa’s Literacy Project.  As you know, Hurricane Sandy swept over Jamaica at the end of October.  St. Mary and Portland were the two areas of Jamaica most severely impacted.  The town of Annotto Bay seemed okay, but we saw the impact of the storm, and also other heavy rains in November, as we drove on the road over the mountains.  Trees were gone and there had been mudslides in many areas.  At one point the ground under the road had been partially washed away so we had to drive very carefully; in another section, there was heavy equipment just clearing away a mudslide that had happened on Monday.   The people at Annotto Bay All Age school had flooding, but it seemed they were able to clean up quickly and get back to regular routines.

Today we will be off to an ‘All Partners Meeting’ where representatives from all 7 projects come together to share ideas.  We organize these meetings each time we visit Jamaica – and over the years we have seen the groups come together and collaborations happen.  This time we’ll be focusing on the topic of fundraising, since everyone is struggling these days.

On Friday we will go to meet the new Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Robert Ready.  We’d like him to know about Jamaican Self-Help and what our Jamaican partners are doing to improve their communiities.

S

o, it’s a very busy schedule – but a useful one for us to reconnect to the people we are supporting, and to learn more about Jamaica.  We’ll have more information for you in our upcoming newsletters and events, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact  us if you have any questions or would like to know more.

With warm regards,

Nancy Chesher, Marg Hundt, Marisa Kaczmarczyk

Monitoring Team Update: November 2012