Goals of HELP Jamaica
Our primary goal is to raise funds in order to support and establish library- and education projects in Jamaica!
We aim to build libraries and education projects in deprived Jamaican communities and aspire to provide free education – especially for children and youths who otherwise don’t have access to books and computers and do not have the means to provide adequately for their education. These education facilities will be inspired by our role model, the Trenchtown Reading Centre founded and operated by Roslyn Ellison.
We will appoint skilled and caring staff in our programs to teach advanced reading- and computer-skills, a necessity for success in school and life! Our programs will encourage talent, ambition and excellence. We believe in inspiration and qualification! We aspire to provide the youths who are attending our facilities with education and counseling and encourage them to believe in their talent and skills.
This will increase their chances to find a job, encourage them to use their creativity, inspire them to become entrepreneurs and start businesses or support them in their aim towards higher education. Our programs wish to encourage young people to develop alternatives to a lives determined by frustration, drugs and violence and thereby help them to find ways to break the vicious circle of poverty, violence and crime in which so many young people grow up in the inner city communities. Education for a change!
To be able to pursue our goals we cooperate with our partner organisations in Jamaica and the US and our international network of supporters in Europe, the US, the UK, Japan and the Caribbean. We are thankful for the generous support of soundsystems, artists, promoters, music and clothing labels, companies, embassies and dedicated individuals who help us accomplish our aims.
The registered non-profit organization HELP Jamaica! e.V. was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2008. We started out to raise funds to support education initiatives in most needy areas of Kingston, like one Reading Center in Trenchtown. Encouraged by the success with which our fundraising effort was met in Europe, the vision of establishing our own Education Center and maybe even more similar facilities in the future developed.
In March 2009, we founded and registered a local branch of HELP Jamaica! in Kingston, Jamaica. This non-profit organization directs and guides the implementation of our activities in Jamaica and is involved in fundraising activities to guarantee the success and sustainability of our projects.
Together with members of the community of Cassava Piece, we started to develop plans for an Education Center in the violence and poverty-ridden community in Kingston 8. http://www.helpjamaica.org/projects/help-jamaica-center/
We chose a suitable spot in the community and succeeded in being granted a 10-year land lease for an unused and derelict building that was known as the ‘Old Clinic’ and was destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Together with volunteers from the community and facilitated by our international fundraising activities as well as a generous grant from the German Embassy in Kingston, we renovated and refurbished the building, started street work in Cassava Piece and finally reached our goal.
In February 2011, we opened the doors of the Education Center in Cassava Piece for the general public. The Center today employs a manager, a caretaker and a team of education assistants from the community. Volunteers from Jamaica and abroad joined to strengthen the team and to facilitate the daily operation of the Education Center, which today caters to an average of 80 children daily and offers adult classes in the evenings.
HELP Jamaica! Education Centre
The HELP Jamaica! Education Center in Cassava Piece
5 Cassava Piece Road
P.O. Box 18
Kingston 8, Jamaica W.I.
Phone (876) 925 5988 (office) or (876) 508 9006 (mobile)
General Opening Hours: Mondays through Fridays – 9.00 a.m. through 7.30 p.m.
Children: Homework Care and other activities – 2.30 p.m. through 5.00 p.m.
Adults: Computer Classes & other Computer related activity – 9.00 a.m. through 1.00 p.m.
Adults: CXC Evening Classes – 5.30 p.m. through 7.30 p.m.
Cassava Piece, Kingston 8
Cassava Piece is located in uptown Kingston, as part of Constant Spring. Although the renown shopping area in Kingston’s North would not suggest that a poor community exists just around the corner, Cassava Piece is what some people call an ‘uptown ghetto’: a structurally underdeveloped and violence-ridden community with zinc fences, shacks, stony and tiny roads, many children and few opportunities – located left and right hand side of the Constant Spring Gully.
The Association aims to establish public and non-governmental educational institutions, as well as to support existing educational institutions and social projects. The offers are addressed to children, youths, and adults, who live in an environment characterized by unemployment, poverty, voilence and a lack of perspective. Access to education free of cost shall be provided to encounter the lack of education. These educational institutions shall be supervised and managed strictly by qualified staff, who provide attendees of the institution with learn intensive material such as books and computers, and support the use, e.g. by reading and literacy programs. Additionally the educational institutions shall motivate to increase the interest in education and participation in playing, employment training and educational offers to foster overall development.
The educational institutions shall provide offers such as the following:
- library and open reading circles
- teaching of reading for children, youths, and adults
- violence prevention programs
- educating assistance and counselling for parents
- craft activities and classes
- activities and events for talent promotion
- sports, music, drama group
- computers to provide basic knowledge in the use of computers as didactically-effective learning technology
- programs fot the use of media, computer, internet
- preparation for career entry
- application training and education for adults