Feature
Students of the Portland-based Nonsuch Primary School, show off gift packages donated by the Green Block Foundation, recently. Sharing the moment are Co-Founder of the Foundation, Conroy Blake (second right);Principal of the school, Marlise Aidiansingh (right); and staff.
Photo: Contributed

The Green Block Foundation, established by three Jamaicans living in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States (US), is providing much-needed support to schools in the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas where its founders grew up.

Several institutions located in communities across the two parishes have received educational supplies and food products from the Foundation to enable them to navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The organisation reached over 100 students and 17 teachers in three schools recently, supplying them with school bags with books, pencils and other educational items, reusable masks, hygiene products and food items. Books were also donated to the schools’ libraries.

The institutions are Nonsuch Primary and Rural Hill Primary and Infant in Portland, and the St. Thomas-based Dalvey Primary and Infant School.

Students of the Rural Hill Primary and Infant School in Portland display gift packages donated by the Green Block Foundation​, recently. Sharing the moment are Co-Founder of the Foundation, Conroy Blake (back row, fourth right); Principal of the school, Nicola Barclay Morris (front row, left); staff and parents.

 

Principal of Rural Hill Primary and Infant, Nicola Barclay Morris, tells JIS News that the parents and students are grateful for the support, while Principal of Nonsuch Primary, Marlise Aidiansingh, says that the “books, pencils and other things have come in handy”.

“The students really appreciate it,” she adds.

Dalvey Primary and Infant School Principal, Vivienne Douglas Lee, for her part, shares with JIS News that the Foundation will be helping to complete a resource centre at the institution.

She notes that the Foundation has been working with the school since its inception and was preparing to establish a breakfast programme at the institution when COVID-19 hit.

“To have such a Foundation here in Portland that wants to give back to the needy kids in the community is a blessing. and whatever support the community can give back to them, it is a good thing,” the Principal says.

Co-Founder of the Foundation, Conroy Blake, tells JIS News that the organisation is committed to making meaningful changes in the communities, especially in the education of children and providing support for parents.

He shares that he and the other two co-founders, Marvin McPherson and Troy Malcolm, who are also business partners, established the Foundation in 2020, to assist the communities in which they grew up, after seeing the various needs.

Co-founders of the Green Block Foundation, Marvin McPherson (left), Conroy Blake (centre), and Founder of the African American Association of Gerogia, Dr. Eric Merriweather, take a break from loading supplies from the Foundation warehouse in the United States for shipment to schools in Jamaica.

 

Mr. Blake, who was born in Portland, says that education is the entity’s main focus.

He tells JIS News that the Foundation targets schools where there is the greatest need.

“We don’t target schools that have a lot of support; we go very deep rural to schools that need our help,” he notes.

He says that very soon, the organisation will establish a food bank to assist needy community members on a monthly basis with basic food supplies.

Co-Founder of the Green Block Foundation, Conroy Blake (second left), shares a moment with students at the Rural Hill Primary School in Portland, during a recent visit to the institution to distribute school supplies.

 

The group is currently partnering with the African American Association of Georgia, and the Guide Outreach to get supplies out of the US into the island.

Mr. Blake says that Green Block Foundation is “definitely here to stay”, noting that the entity will be seeking to work with other organisations to expand its reach.

Meanwhile, the organisation is making preparations to donate supplies to the Port Antonio Infirmary and the Muirton Boys’ Home in Portland.

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