Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks has lauded the Washington based Jamaica Women of Washington (JWoW) organisation, for contributing just over $1.75 million to a number of charitable groups in Jamaica.
In her message at the organisation’s 8th annual Tea-off for Good Health and Silent Auction, delivered by the deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy, Sharon Miller, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in downtown Washington on June 13, Ambassador Marks said JWoW’s contribution to charitable groups was no small feat.
“Through your generosity and talent of your members, you have positively impacted the lives of scores of under-served citizens, by focusing on issues, such as the prevention of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and infant mortality,” the Ambassador said.
Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Raymond Joseph accepts a token from President of the Jamaica Women of Washington (JWoW), Dr. Jacqueline Watson, at JWoW’s 8th Annual Tea-Off for Good Health and Silent Auction, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., on June 13.
She pointed out that over the past five years, some of the charitable organizations that have benefitted from JWoW’s contributions included the Combined Disabilities Association; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Development and Endowment Fund, Jamaica AIDS Support, Mensana Community for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill, Westmoreland Association of Street People, Children First, Women’s Media Watch, Family and Parenting Centre and Western Society for the Upliftment of Children.
The Cornwall Regional Hospital, the Ambassador noted, received neonatal equipment valued at $1.78 million from JWoW last year. The equipment included infant warmers; bilirubinometers, which are used to test infants for jaundice, and pulseoximeters, which measure blood oxygen levels.
Ambassador Marks said JWoW’s theme for this year, ‘Homelessness: It Takes a Village to Shelter the Vulnerable’, was no less important, as the scourge of homelessness could be seen in every society.
“Your focus on homelessness is both timely and inspirational. While we normally view the homeless as persons who are destitute and without shelter, might I suggest that being forced to live without the protection of the state, and having your freedom and the ability to decide your destiny on your terms within the norms of a civilised society, severely curtailed, could be viewed as being destitute and lacking in hope for a better tomorrow,” she said.
The Jamaican envoy challenged the executive and members of JWoW, as well as all Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica, to join with the country, “as we begin this journey to build a better Jamaica.”
In her remarks, wife of the Mayor of Washington, Michelle Fenty, who is of Jamaican heritage, commended JWoW for their tireless contribution in assisting the less fortunate and under-served in the District of Columbia.
She noted that the two charities to receive assistance this year, the Harriett Tubman Women’s Shelter and My Sister’s Place, were worthy of the assistance offered by JWoW.
Haitian Ambassador, His Excellency Raymond Joseph, thanked JWoW on behalf of the government and people of Haiti, for selecting the country as one of its main beneficiaries from this year’s fund raising efforts.
President of JWoW, Dr. Jacqueline Watson said JWoW’s mission was to provide support to improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and families in Jamaica as well as in Washington, D.C.
She said that both Ambassadors Marks and Josephs would jointly decide on the two projects (in Haiti and Jamaica) to benefit from this year’s fund raising efforts.