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The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has launched a relief fund for Haitians who have been dislocated by the recent earthquake.
Speaking at the launch Wednesday (January 27), at the JTA Regional Office in Mandeville, President of the organization, Michael Stewart, told the gathering that the JTA has contributed US$ 5,000 to the effort.
“And we are appealing to our members and caring Jamaicans to contribute to this fund. Our teachers from across the country have made several donations in clothing, toiletries and non-perishable items,” he said.
Mr. Stewart disclosed that the funds will be sent to teachers in Haiti, and the others items will be handed to the Jamaica Red Cross to be distributed, as part of the ongoing work by that relief organization.

President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Michael Stewart (centre), addressing the launch of the JTA/Haiti relief effort Wednesday (January 27) at the organization’s regional office in Mandeville, Manchester. Supporting Mr. Stewart are, President-elect of the Clarendon Chapter of the JTA, Mark Nicely (left) and the current Clarendon President, Clayton Hall.

“The JTA joins with the rest of Jamaica, and our brothers and sisters in the region, in sending a message of hope and restoration to the people of Haiti. The Haitian Teachers’ Union is a member of the Caribbean Union of Teachers, and we will continue to work with them, so that they can get back to some form of normal life,” the JTA President added.
The Regional Offices of the JTA are serving as collection points for the relief effort, while contact teachers at different schools are assisting in the drive. An account, # 04880-11, has been opened at the King Street branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia, downtown Kingston, where persons can make contributions.
President of the Manchester Chapter of the JTA, Steve Williams, reported that teachers in the parish have rallied to the Haitian cause.
“The support is overwhelming. This drive will continue, we understand fully the impact this earthquake has had on the teachers of Haiti and most of that country. So, what we are doing will be ongoing to ease much of the burden of the people there,” he stated.