Children Get Back-to-School Support from PJFJ

Photo: Contributed Children from the Benbow Street community in Kingston with their backpacks distributed by Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc., as part of their annual ‘Backpack Project’. The organisation has distributed more than 5,000 backpacks since its inception in 2010.

Story Highlights

  • ‘Uplifting our Nation’s Children, One Child at a Time’ is the mantra that characterises Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. (PJFJ), an organisation led by Jamaicans living overseas and dedicated to providing financial support to underserved children in Jamaica who demonstrate academic excellence.
  • Founder and President of the organisation, Horace Daley, tells JIS News that the group targets needy children from inner-city and rural communities across the island to ensure that they receive the tools and resources necessary for academic success.
  • More than 5,000 backpacks have been distributed to students since 2010, and another 1,500 are to be given for the 2017 back-to-school period.

‘Uplifting our Nation’s Children, One Child at a Time’ is the mantra that characterises Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. (PJFJ), an organisation led by Jamaicans living overseas and dedicated to providing financial support to underserved children in Jamaica who demonstrate academic excellence.

Established in 2010, the organisation continues to empower children through education by spearheading several projects and fundraising initiatives locally.

Founder and President of the organisation, Horace Daley, tells JIS News that the group targets needy children from inner-city and rural communities across the island to ensure that they receive the tools and resources necessary for academic success.

Since its inception, PJFJ has been spearheading the Annual Scholarship Awards, The Backpack, Breakfast and Christmas Treat projects, from which thousands of children benefit.

More than 200 high-school students have benefited from the scholarship programme, many of whom are now pursuing degree courses at local universities.

On Sunday, August 20, eight scholarships will be awarded to selected high-school students at the eighth annual awards ceremony to be held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

“The organisation has a firm belief that there are academically gifted students in Jamaica who are lacking the financial support required to realise their full potential. The goal of the PJFJ is, therefore, to bridge this financial gap for these students, giving them the opportunity to excel through the scholarships and other initiatives,” Mr. Daley says.

More than 5,000 backpacks have been distributed to students since 2010, and another 1,500 are to be given for the 2017 back-to-school period.

“We invite members to donate basic school supplies, then we arrange for distribution in impoverished communities in Jamaica, bringing a smile to the faces of these children and parents,” the President tells JIS News.

The breakfast project was first established at Trench Town Primary School in 2011, serving 76 students, and has expanded to other schools in the Corporate Area.

“Through fundraisers and donation drives, we gather as many toys as possible to distribute in various locations in Jamaica over the Christmas period. Christmas is a time for sharing with others, and our organisation wants to ensure that the less fortunate children feel loved and appreciated, so we treat them with ice cream, cake and toys, and there is no limitation to the areas we serve, as our goal is to share the joy of Christmas with children in the 14 parishes of our beautiful island,” Mr. Daley says.

As the organisation grows, it is committed to fostering the development of the Jamaican economy and safeguarding some of the basic rights of the country’s children.

“We understand that if children are to become adults who are committed to a stable and safe environment, where all citizens can self-actualise and pursue happiness, then urgent intervention and continuous support are required,” he argues.

In July, the PJFJ hosted its inaugural Pre-Independence Charity Boat Ride on the Skyline Princess in New York City as another fundraising event to obtain the well-needed resources to undertake its various projects.

Mr. Daley affirms that the organisation will continue to support the local education system and the livelihood of the country’s children.

“As citizens of Jamaica, we have a civic duty to our nation, and it is our responsibility to make meaningful contributions to the growth of our economy with a focus on nation building, which is critical to Jamaica achieving its Vision 2030 goal,” the President says.

“While our membership continues to grow locally and in the diaspora, we seek to engage and form partnerships with like-minded citizens and friends of Jamaica who are committed to education,” he adds.

Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. is a tax-exempt organisation that was created to address the economic and educational needs of children who are challenged socio-economically and socially. The organisation is registered in the states of Connecticut and New York, and in Jamaica.

For further details on the organization, or to participate in its fundraising activities, persons may visit the website at: www.pjfj.org or email: info@pjfj.org.

JIS Social