The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), on February 28 received a cheque valued at $680,000.00 from Jamalco, to assist with the reconstruction and restoration efforts in Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake last year.
Deputy Director of the ODPEM, Richard Thompson, who accepted the cheque on Haiti’s behalf, thanked Jamalco and its members for the contribution they have made to the rebuilding of Haiti.
He said that the current cholera outbreak has only served to compound the problems the country is facing and the money will serve to defray medical costs for Haitians. “The contribution is thankfully received by ODPEM and it will be faithfully applied to the needs of the people in Haiti,” Mr. Thompson said.
Following the earthquake last January, an appeal was made to members of the Jamalco workforce for a contribution towards Haiti’s restoration. Members of staff responded by donating canned foods and clothing, and members of the Jamalco Emergency Response Team (JERT) went to Kingston and assisted ODPEM to package items for Haiti. The staff then went one step further and decided to make a monetary contribution through salary deductions. One year later, the employees were quite pleased with the funds raised.
Manager of Corporate Affairs at Jamalco, Leo Lambert said that as a team, Jamalco employees were moved by the disaster and suffering, “and so we rallied and summoned that human trait in our team to reach out to our neighbour."
Mr. Lambert also noted that this donation represents the first installment of the contribution “we will make to our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” adding that their efforts will be ongoing.
Member of JERT, Shauna Newell, who was also in attendance, noted that the team’s involvement in the process “brought about a sense of empathy and self-fulfillment, while providing an avenue to continue the promotion of our commitment to service.”
Charge d’Affaires, Haitian Embassy, Max Alce said he was touched by the gesture. “The response from Jamaica is overwhelming. We never expected so much. It’s more than a year since the disaster happened and we are still receiving help. We are deeply touched by your generosity,” he said.
CONTACT: GARFIELD L. ANGUS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE