JIS News

The United Way of Jamaica has received a $9.2 million donation from Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) towards its campaign for early childhood development, which is its philanthropic project for 2007.
The organization launched its 2007 fund-raising event on June 27 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. This is an annual exercise of United Way, which seeks to acquire funding for philanthropic projects. This year, most of the money raised will be used to fund early childhood development projects across the island. The objective is to achieve and surpass its target of $75 million by the end of December this year.
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VMBS, Richard Powell, who officially launched the campaign, urged other organizations and persons to give to United Way, noting that their donations would be used to fund worthwhile social projects.
“I challenge you to partner with United Way in mobilizing $75 million. Victoria Mutual will lead by example with our pledge of approximately $9.2 million for 2007, because since 1986 VMBS has embraced the United Way’s mission to assist in meeting the social and material needs of the less fortunate and disadvantaged Jamaicans,” he said.
“This mission coincides with our own objectives of investing in our nation in order to build stronger communities, develop healthy minds and bodies among our nation’s youth and promote good family values and national pride,” he added.
Noting that it was quite appropriate for the money to be primarily used to fund early childhood development projects, Mr. Powell said that he still believed that “it takes a village to raise a child.”
“Our help is needed to support and enhance the early childhood initiatives that have been established and do whatever we can to improve the systems concerning early childhood education and the development of Jamaica’s children,” Mr. Powell said.
In the meantime, Chairman of United Way, Alvaro Casserly said that in the effort of the organization “to create a culture of philanthropy and social responsibility.individuals and organizations are encouraged to voluntarily contribute to improve the material, social and spiritual welfare of people through charitable activities.”
“At any point in time, the requests that are submitted to United Way of Jamaica for funding are far in excess of the available resources.so we are very much in need of your support to help increase the available funds and so narrow the gap between requested funding and the available pool of funds,” he implored.
United Way does not undertake projects, but seeks funding for projects which are undertaken by established entities. Over the years, funding has been allocated to support projects in the areas of education, skills training, youth at risk, health, the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged, agriculture, sport, and community development.

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