JIS News

GraceKennedy and Western Union have pledged over US$200,000 to continue their support of Jamaica’s educational system through the IPLEDGE programme.
IPLEDGE is an acronym for ‘I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education’ and it seeks to provide English textbooks to over 300,000 grades 4 to 6 students in primary schools for the 2005/06 school year.
The programme is a partnership between GraceKennedy, Western Union and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
At the recent launch of IPLEDGE at the Delta Toronto East Hotel in Toronto, Canada, Director of GraceKennedy, Judge Pamela Appelt, noted that the company is committed to the objective of development through education.
“Education is a key component of Jamaica’s effort to build its human capacity, and it is a fundamental strategic imperative for Jamaica’s development. GraceKennedy sees its support as more than a mere contribution to charity, but rather as an investment in the future of Jamaica. What is good for Jamaica is good for GraceKennedy,” she said.
Vice President and General Manager of Western Union, Canada, A.J. Hanna, said the IPLEDGE programme fitted Western Union’s philosophy of helping people to make their lives better, and the company felt it was a sense of duty to support it.
“Imagine, 300,000 open minds willing and wanting to learn, that will now have these textbooks at their fingertips. Young minds becoming extraordinary people – people who will be out in the world creating strong communities at home and at work; people who will break down cultural and social barriers; and people who will take aim at important social issues,” he said.
Also speaking at the launch was Deputy Speaker of Canada’s House of Representatives, Jean Augustine, who said both GraceKennedy and Western Union were demonstrating corporate social responsibility by contributing to education.
Jamaica’s Acting Consul General to Toronto, Dale Jones, expressed “profound gratitude and appreciation” to the companies, noting that investment in young people would ensure a vibrant economy and a better society in the future.
The Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation (JD-CF) also endorsed the programme and Vice-President, Sharon Abrahams pledged the assistance of the organization in ensuring the success of the programme.