JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has donated $1.5 million, through his Positive Jamaica Foundation, to non-profit community development organisation, Mustard Seed Communities (MSC).
  • Mr. Holness presented the cheque, and packages of food and personal care items to MSC founder, Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, and Executive Director of MSC Jamaica, Darcy Tulloch Williams, when he visited the entity's headquarters on Mahoe Drive, in Kingston, on Thursday (April 9).
  • The Prime Minister said the gesture was out of personal concern about the likely challenges which the MSC will face in its community social outreach, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has impacted various sectors and stakeholders.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has donated $1.5 million, through his Positive Jamaica Foundation, to non-profit community development organisation, Mustard Seed Communities (MSC).

Mr. Holness presented the cheque, and packages of food and personal care items to MSC founder, Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, and Executive Director of MSC Jamaica, Darcy Tulloch Williams, when he visited the entity’s headquarters on Mahoe Drive, in Kingston, on Thursday (April 9).

The Prime Minister said the gesture was out of personal concern about the likely challenges which the MSC will face in its community social outreach, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has impacted various sectors and stakeholders.

“The prevailing situation would make it very difficult for operations like the MSC, that serve the vulnerable in the society. You are, basically, a social enterprise and the people who would normally fund you, many of them are going through difficult times… and would not be able to give the charity and philanthropy that they normally do,” he noted.

Consequently, he added, “your inflow of contributions, right now, might not be as it should… (and) knowing the situation that exists here (where) you serve many vulnerable people, there might be a difficulty (in adequately doing so).”

As such, the Prime Minister said the money is being provided to enable the MSC to carry on its work for the next several weeks.

Additionally, Mr. Holness advised that the MSC’s request for additional assistance from the Government is “being considered,” in light of the Administration being “well aware” of the extent to which COVID-19 would interrupt the entity’s engagements.

Monsignor Ramkissoon, in expressing MSC’s gratitude, noted that donations to the organisation have declined by some US$1 million over the past seven weeks consequent on COVID-19.

Additionally, he said approximately 50 per cent of MSC’s volunteers have been unable to come to the entity, because of the prevailing challenges.

Monsignor Ramkissoon said that the Prime Minister’s gesture, and whatever support can be extended by the Government, will go a far way in assisting the entity to attend to the approximately 500 children and 500 employees.

He that the MSC will also be able continue its outreach to youngsters and adults, particularly the elderly, in the surrounding communities.

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