First Group of Jamaica 50 Schools to Open in September

Many schools in Jamaica are dilapidated or in desperate need of repair.

Many schools in Jamaica are dilapidated or in desperate need of repair. This is an after picture of Holy Ghost Power school located in McCook's Pen, St. Catherine, Jamaica. The school was rebuilt by Food For The Poor, thanks to monetary contributions by generous donors. To celebrate the 50th year of Jamaican Independence, Food For The Poor is launching the "Jamaica 50 Campaign," to build 50 basic schools in Jamaica. A new school will open approximately each month for the next 50 months.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 29, 2012) - In celebration of Jamaica’s golden anniversary as an independent nation, Food For The Poor has launched the “Jamaica 50 Campaign” to build 50 basic schools in 50 months. The organization has committed to build a new school or replace an existing school that has been deemed as an unfit space for children to learn. 

Holding fast to that promise, the first three schools of this initiative will be dedicated in late September. They are:

  • Longville Basic School (existing school in need of proper facilities) in Whitehouse, Westmoreland. The school will be renamed to King’s Infant School upon opening.
  • St. Margaret’s Real Success Basic School (existing school in need of proper infrastructure) in Kingston.

“It is important for those who have decided to leave Jamaica to pursue their dreams in Canada or the United States to remember their homeland, the homeland of their parents, their grandparents,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “The best gift of all is the gift of knowledge, and those who are in a position to help can do so by providing the children of Jamaica with safe and inspiring places to learn.”  

Education has always been a seed deeply planted into the minds of the Jamaican people. The Caribbean nation has experienced its share of economic hardship – many parents cannot afford to pay school fees, or buy the books, school supplies or uniforms necessary to send their children to basic school.  Many of the nation’s school buildings are dilapidated or in desperate need of repair.

The basic schools or Early Childhood Institutes are the backbone of the educational system in Jamaica because it is where young children develop their character, and get the educational foundation needed to advance to primary school, which is equivalent to an elementary school in the United States.

Each basic school constructed will have an office, sick bay, kitchen, bathroom/sanitation, and one large classroom that can be subdivided into three learning spaces. There’s an average capacity of 40 students per school, but depending on the size of the structure, up to 100 students could be attending one school at a time. There’s typically one teacher and a teacher’s assistant in the smaller schools, and three or more in the larger schools.

The “Jamaica 50 Campaign” is a monumental, but exciting commitment by Food For The Poor to build these schools for children ages 3 to 6 years old. The ministry is looking forward to working with its donors on making this project between Jamaica, the United States and Canada a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as 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.

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Wanda Wright
Public Relations
(954) 427-2222 x 6079