The Washington-based organization, Jamaican Women of Washington (JWoW), is getting high praise from both Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Washington D.C.’s Mayor for supporting charitable groups to the tune of US$75,000.
Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, was joined by Mayor Adrian Fenty in paying special tribute to JWOW for helping charities in Jamaica and Washington D.C. JWoW has supported 59 charities over the past eight years.
President of the Washington-based Jamaican Women of Washington (JWoW), Dr. Jacqueline Watson (second right), displaying the citation she received on behalf of her organization from Washington D.C.’s Mayor, Adrian Fenty (third right), at JWoW’s annual Christmas fundraising reception at the Embassy of Jamaica on Friday, December 3. Joining in the celebration (left-right) are Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks and Washington DC’s First Lady, Michelle Fenty.
Occasion was JWOW’s annual Christmas fund-raising reception at the Embassy of Jamaica on Friday, December 3. The Mayor presented JWOW, through its President, Dr. Jacqueline Watson, with an official proclamation, in appreciation of its outstanding charitable outreach and contribution to the Washington D.C.
Ambassador Marks described JWoW’s contributions to charities as no small feat.
“Through their generosity they have positively impacted the lives of scores of underserved Jamaicans,” she remarked. She commended JWoW on its unstinting work and service to Jamaica, saying it “stands as a clear testament to the organization’s love and commitment to our country.”
She identified among the beneficiaries of JWoW’s contributions: Combined Disabilities Association; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Development and Endowment Fund; Jamaica AIDS Support; Mensana Community for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill; Westmoreland Association of Street People; Children First; Women’s Media Watch Family and Parenting Centre; and Western Society for the Upliftment of Children.
Last year, Montego Bay’s Cornwall Regional Hospital received neonatal equipment valued at $1.78 million, the Ambassador noted. The equipment included infant warmers; bilirubinometers, used to test infants for jaundice; and pulseoximeters, which measure blood oxygen levels.
Noting that JWoW’s theme for this year, “Homelessness: It Takes a Village to Shelter the Vulnerable,” was no less important, Ambassador Marks pointed to the blighting effect of the scourge of homelessness in every society.
“Your focus on homelessness is both timely and inspirational,” she said. “While we normally view the homeless as persons who are destitute and without shelter, might I suggest that being forced to live without the protection of the state, and having your freedom and the ability to decide your destiny on your terms within the norms of a civilized society severely curtailed, could (also) be viewed as being destitute and lacking in hope for a better tomorrow.”
She said that there have been resounding calls for the Jamaican Diaspora to get more involved in nation-building, and that she was pleased that JWoW has answered the call as the Diaspora represents a reservoir of experience, expertise and talent that can yield great results.
She challenged the executive and members of JWoW, other Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica, to join in “this journey to build a better Jamaica.”
After presenting the citation, Mayor Fenty commended JWoW for its significant work, assisting the less fortunate and under-served.
JWoW’s Dr. Watson said the mission of her organisation was to provide support to improve the health and quality of life of women, children and families.
She also announced plans for the annual Tea-Off for Good Health Golf Tournament, which will be staged in Montego Bay in 2011, for the second time. Funds raised from the charitable golf event will go to charities in Jamaica.
JWOW has contributed over J$4 million to a number of charitable organizations in Jamaica.