A total of 21 grant awards amounting to approximately $11 million (US$120,000), were on April 4 handed over by the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) to several organisations that undertake projects in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development.
Among the grant recipients were: the Cornwall Regional Hospital Pediatric Ward; Eye Health Institute; Missionaries of the Poor; Rose Town Foundation; Hanover Charities; St. Patrick’s Foundation for St. Monica’s Home; First Step Basic School; and St. Andrew Care Centre.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held at the Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, thanked AJF for its contribution to development initiatives, especially in the health sector.
He said the government is committed to broadening the level of participation of non-state sectors in the delivery of health care.
He said that mobilising resources at the local, national and international levels, presents an opportunity to improve the financing of the sector, increase access to health care, improve the quality of care available to citizens, and strengthen community participation.
Executive Director of AFJ, Caron Chung, informed that the 30-year charity has made significant strides in strategically connecting resources in the United States (US) to worthwhile causes in Jamaica.
She said that the members of the organisation, which include several former US Ambassadors to Jamaica among other prominent persons, are inspired by a common love for Jamaica and a vision for the country.
President of the AFJ for the past five years, former US Ambassador to Jamaica, Sue Cobb, praised all the workers in the Jamaican health, education and economic sectors, whom she said, are the ones who work towards the country’s development.
“We honour you because we know you are doing good work. We are careful where the AFJ places its money and places its trust,” she stated.
Also present at the ceremony were Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, and US Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter