Welcome to our Spring E-Newsletter!
We hope that you will enjoy learning about progress that has been made over the past few months in Jamaican communities thanks to our deeply committed volunteers and donors. As well, we are happy to share news of exciting opportunities planned for the year ahead! Please take a moment to read about the impact that our supporters have made in the lives of Jamaican youth and the incredible work being accomplished by our Jamaican partners.
JSH Volunteers Share Stories of Success from Monitoring Trip
Volunteers traveled to Jamaica in January, visiting partner schools in the capital city of Kingston to gain firsthand knowledge of how JSH-supported programmes are enriching the lives of youth through music, dance, sports and woodworking. Monitoring trips serve as an invaluable opportunity for JSH volunteers to connect with Jamaican partners at the community level. During the monitoring trip, Cathie Morrissey, Joyce Mackenzie and Ben McGrath visited JSH’s three partner schools: St. Anne’s Primary School, Tavares Gardens Primary School and St. Margaret’s Human Resource Centre. JSH volunteers met with students who are benefiting from educational and skill-building opportunities as well as the teachers who remain dedicated to implementing and facilitating the programmes that JSH funds. While at Tavares Gardens, Ben spent an afternoon playing netball and rugby with Mr. Dunkley’s grade 6 class. JSH’s primary funding contribution is for the physical education program, run by Mr. Dunkley. Physical Education is used to teach students the value of good sportsmanship, benefits of teamwork and increase their overall skill at offered sports such as football, rugby, cricket and track. 185 students are participating in the PE program. Mr. Dunkley reports that students are quite eager, already enquiring about taking part in sporting competitions and showing improvements in overall attitude and behavior. The students are very excited to have PE included as part of their regular timetable.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of music teacher, Davion James, students at St. Anne’s are seeing increased confidence, creativity and co-operation. Sashayla and Deshawn, two grade 6 students, were interviewed. Sashayla says she loves music because it gives her peace of mind. Deshawn enjoys playing drums and reggae. Like Sashayla and Deshawn, most students are greatly benefitting from the music programme and the teachings of Mr. James. The choir looks forward to participating in the annual J.C.D.C. Festival of the Performing Arts – a highlight of the musical year. Mr. James also reported that the annual Christmas concert was a musical success and that the St. Anne’s Choir has been invited to perform at a number of local primary schools; a testament to the quality of the students’ performances.
At St. Margaret’s Resource Centre, JSH supports a skills training course for youth to specialize in woodworking (ages 14 to 25). The course is supervised by Mr. James and his assistant, Tashane MacDonald – a former student. Like many youth who grow up in inner-city Jamaican communities, Tashane admits to a past marked with violence and instability. Today, he serves as a model for youth attending St. Margaret’s. Tashane credits the woodworking program for saving his life as it was here that he developed a respect for authority working under Mr. James. Students who graduate from the woodworking course typically find employment in Kingston making furniture or working in hardware stores, while others have gone on to start their own businesses.
11th Annual Artisan Show & Sale Raises $5,000 for Jamaican Projects
The Artisan Show and Sale saw record success at its annual event held in November at Mark Street United Church. Over 20 local artisans showcased an impressive variety of hand-crafted items including jewellery, pottery, textiles, metal art and much more. Artisans donated 20% of their sales to JSH! The Artisan Show & Sale committee is currently hard at work planning for this year’s event. Expect to see a few new artisans as well as returning favorites.
SAVE THE DATE: November 24 & 25, 2018
Explore the Beauty of Jamaica in 2019
JSH is planning a two-week tour of Jamaica next winter. 12 to 14 participants will journey through the vibrant regions of Jamaica while being immersed in cultural, heritage and educational experiences. Expect to visit the Blue Mountains, the Blue Lagoon and the River Edge Country area where local farmers harvest chocolate and pimento. Participants will spend time on the famous Negril Beach and visit JSH-supported projects in the capital city of Kingston. Leading the tour will be Angela Stultz – a charismatic Jamaican woman who headed up a JSH community development project.
If you are interested in learning more about the trip, please contact Joyce Mackenzie at
705-651-6391. Updates will be provided via email as planning is finalized. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to explore all the beauty that Jamaica has to offer!
Volunteer with JSH and Help Make an Even Greater Impact!
Are you interested in building your network, strengthening your skills and sharing your ideas to help support JSH’s mission? If so, we have some incredible opportunities for you! Specifically, we are looking for increased committee support, assistance in planning for our new program year and support in grant writing/fundraising. If you would like to learn more about volunteering with JSH, please contact Cathie Morrissey by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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