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JIS News

The Canadian Army on Thursday (April 23) donated educational items valued at CA$2000 to the Port Royal Primary and Junior High School.
Speaking with JIS News Master Corporal in the Canadian Army, Kimberly Hardy said that they are pleased to give assistance to Jamaica. “I am very touched, and it is heart warming because of the reality of what our children at home have compared to what Jamaica has is a stark difference,” she asserts.
Master Corporal Hardy outlined that through the Canadian Izzy Doll Peace Programme, they decided to visit schools in the Kingston area, and were touched by the promise and potential of the students at Port Royal Primary and Junior High School.
“When we got here in Jamaica, everyday we would hear the children singing, and it really touched our hearts. And, using the Izzy Doll Project we decided to visit the school,” she informed, adding that “through speaking with the principal and the teachers we found out that they required things for the school, for the children’s safety and their education.”
Continuing, Master Corporal Hardy said that as a result of the needs outlined by the school, the troops decided to have fundraisers, which provided them with the money to assist the institution.
“In order to assist the school, we decided to have a few fun raisers such as water balloon toss, coffee fund, fifty fifty draws which raised the money. We then went out for a couple of days and purchased the things that the school is in need of,” Master Corporal Hardy informed.
Principal of the school, Owen Spied said that he is grateful for the assistance.
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of material that they have brought in and they are still promising more. I am extremely happy for the assistance it will indeed go a far way,” Mr. Spied said.
With the limited resources at the school, he said the Canadians had provided materials that are well needed in some critical areas.
“The school is grateful for all the items received today, but of all the things, we are thankful for the chain link fencing because the school grounds need to be fenced off in order to provide a safe area for the children. It is something that we really wanted to do so that the children can have the opportunity to go outside and play because through playing they can learn a lot,” he asserts.
He added that the materials will provide the school with the opportunity to assist students who are unable to purchase these items.
“We have goals and dreams for this school and one such is to fence the field so that organizations can come in and use it and from that we will get some revenue,” he said, adding that, “Some of our children do not have the materials that they need for school because their parents cannot afford it. So the books, pencils, and crayon along with the other items are welcome, and now all students in the upper primary school will be able to get one or more of each”.
Mr. Spied urged other organizations to contribute to the welfare of Jamaican children. Approximately 175 members of the engineering unit of the Canadian Army are in Jamaica for a training exercise under the Tropical Hammer 09-01 project. This project is used to prepare the soldiers for upcoming duty in Afghanistan.
Not only have they helped schools but the Canadians have also assisted the Jamaica Defence Force in its restructuring programme. During the one- month visit, the unit built a category IV communication building at the Norman Manley International Airport, to possibly be used during a hurricane for the dispatching of information.

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