Eight 4 Third World Hope Rebuilds Hope and Schools in Jamaica

Eight 4 Third World Hope members (l-r) Allison Autry, Kevin Carges, Matthew Shue & Gerard Christian traveled to Jamaica for the dedication of the Concord Sacred Heart Early Childhood Institution.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2012) — It’s sometimes difficult to imagine that some of the children on one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean are learning their ABC’s and 123’s inside crumbling structures, and are using 100-year-old pit latrines that are literally falling apart.

This was the case for nearly 200 basic and primary school-aged children who live in Jamaica’s mountain communities of Concord and Bensonton in St. Ann, and in McCook’s Pen, St. Catherine.

“It’s very difficult for many here in the United States to fully comprehend the deplorable condition of many of these schools in Jamaica,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “In spite of cramped classrooms, decaying desks and chairs, limited school supplies, and having to use pit latrines, these children are learning. They and their teachers deserve a much better environment for their educational needs.

Eight 4 Third World Hope, a Rochester, N.Y. based-organization, is making a big difference in the lives of the children in this part of Jamaica through Food For The Poor. Deacon Kevin Carges traveled on his first mission trip to Jamaica with the ministry in 2006.  Moved by what he saw, in 2009 he founded the charity Eight 4 Third World Hope at St. John Fisher College, and with the help of six members from the college Class of 1984 began changing lives.

A 100-year-old pit latrine at Bensonton Primary School was replaced with a new facility with separate and private restrooms.

In their first project, funds were raised to rebuild the Concord Sacred Heart Early Childhood Institution. Their second project was the completion of a facility with separate and private restrooms for boys and girls. The dangerous pit latrine at Bensonton Primary School was replaced with seven flush toilets, urinals, and four sinks.  Now a third project is in the works to rebuild the basic school in McCook’s Pen, which is peppered with holes and gaps in its wooden frame.

Eight 4 Third World Hope and several of its members recently traveled back to Jamaica, with Food For The Poor to see firsthand the fruits of their labor. The New York charity’s founder says they are very eager to complete the McCook’s Pen project. 

“God’s hand has been present with all of us,” said Carges.  “This trip has provided our members with an opportunity to get hands on experience and to see the need, to be inspired to help the children to get an education and to have a brighter future.”

Food For The Poor has constructed 41 basic schools in Jamaica since 2004, and has replaced 50 pit latrines with flush toilet systems in schools across the island.

To mark Jamaica’s golden anniversary on Aug. 6, 2012, Food For The Poor is launching the “Jamaica 50 Campaign” to build 50 schools in 50 months. The initiative will work like this: 

  • In August of 2012, the first school will open, and then a new school will open each month for the next 50 months.
  • Food For The Poor will replace a school that has been targeted by a community that’s been deemed as an unfit space for children to learn.     

Amy Staab spends time with a student at the Concord Sacred Heart Early Childhood Institution.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079