JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Hundreds of students from the Rose Hall area in St. James have benefited from free health services in time for the start of the new academic year in September.
  • At a free back-to-school health and information fair staged by the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation (SJF) at the Spot Valley High School on August 21, the students received free medical checks, including eye and hearing tests.
  • The Spanish Jamaican Foundation is operated by a board, which is headed by Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Aníbal Jiménez Abascal.

Hundreds of students from the Rose Hall area in St. James have benefited from free health services in time for the start of the new academic year in September.

At a free back-to-school health and information fair staged by the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation (SJF) at the Spot Valley High School on August 21, the students received free medical checks, including eye and hearing tests.

It was the 4th annual fair staged by the Foundation, as it continues to reach out to Jamaicans in and around communities where its member companies are located. Scores of senior citizens and other community members also benefitted from the services offered.

General Manager of the SJF, Karen Donaldson, told JIS News that the fair, held under the theme: ‘A healthy start is the best start,’ was aimed at getting students ready for the new school year.

“We are reaching out especially to the communities nearby. We are getting parents and families in gear for the new school year and… We are also offering services for senior citizens,” she said.

She said the event, held in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC), was a resounding success. She informed that a number of entities were also on hand to offer their services.

These include Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Ministry of Labour and Social Security, SDC, National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), 4-H Movement, and Blood Bank.

 

“Here is an opportunity (for the residents) to come and access some of the services offered by these agencies. It’s great networking here among the different organisations: it’s a great spirit. People are willing to come on board, people are willing to assist, people are willing to get involved in community development, and that’s what the Spanish Jamaican Foundation is all about,” Ms. Donaldson said.

The SJF was established in 2006, with a mission to strengthen partnership between Spain and Jamaica through sustainable participation in educational, cultural, environmental and health-based initiatives that contribute to community development.

Ms. Donaldson said the Foundation has remained true to its core value of ensuring that the lives of Jamaicans are improved.

“The Spanish Jamaican Foundation was founded by a number of Spanish investors here in Jamaica. We do all sorts of projects that deal with community development. Today, we are dealing with health-based initiatives, but we also do environmental, educational, and cultural activities. We do the support for learning and teaching of Spanish as well,” she noted.

Meanwhile, parents, whose children received health checks, told JIS News that they are grateful, as they have been able to direct limited financial resources to other areas for back-to-school preparations.

“I think it’s very good for the community,” said parent Andre Smith.

“It saved the parents a lot, especially now that it’s back-to-school and some of the parents have four or five kids to send to school. I am a parent of more than one going to (Spot Valley) and I am happy,” he said.

Spot Valley High School student, Tricia Rose said:  “I am feeling very happy. It’s a great thing that they are doing and it will benefit a lot of us.”

The Spanish Jamaican Foundation is operated by a board, which is headed by Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Aníbal Jiménez Abascal.

The members include RIU Hotels and Resorts, Bahía Príncipe, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, Grand Palladium – Fiesta Hotel Group, Secrets Resorts and Spa, Hospiten, The Excellence Group, Euro Divisas, and the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica.