JIS News

One of Jamaica’s corporate giants has launched two programmes in Canada, aimed at assisting the Jamaican diaspora and Jamaica’s education sector.
Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), which is celebrating its 135th anniversary, recently launched its Jamaica Vacation (JamVac) Account to a capacity crowd at the International Centre in Toronto, Canada.
The JamVac Account targets vacationers to Jamaica, by encouraging them to open an account that they will have access to while they are vacationing. The account holder will also have a card to get discounts from various business entities, such as hotels, restaurants, major attractions and car rental companies.
Manager of Jamaica National’s Cayman Island office, Mr. Dunbar McFarlane, said the account is a savings device, to make it easier when the visitor is in Jamaica, and one of the benefits is that the account holder will be able to “access cash at any of the 23 branches of Jamaica National across the island.”
District Sales Manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), in Canada, Mr. Dan Hamilton, said the JTB endorsed the Jamaica Vacation account and encouraged the audience to take advantage of it.
Author and broadcaster, Ms. Beverley Anderson-Manley, speaking on behalf of JNBS, told the audience that the company serves as a role model for Jamaica and Jamaicans for 135 years, through its visionary leadership, service, commitment, faith and principles.
She implored the group to “stop having wrong conversations” about Jamaica. “We must go into our innovative selves, stop merely reacting to what is happening and see what we can create,” she added.
Another programme launched in Canada recently was the Jamaica Partnership for Education (JPE). A collaborative initiative of the JNBS Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the programme aims to get much needed funds into Jamaica’s education sector.
Speaking to JIS News, Project Manager Ms. Anna Toby, said the JPE expects to allocate funds for sustainable projects in schools islandwide.
“We are asking our members in the diaspora to partner with us in raising funds that will help to develop projects that are specific for education in primary and secondary public schools in Jamaica,” she explained.
Ms. Toby said that at Jamaica National Money Transfer locations in Canada, the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and in the Cayman Islands, customers will be asked to make “small continuous contributions to the Fund.”
The money will be lodged weekly to the JPE account and will be disbursed on an annual basis to schools.
“Once a year we will ask schools to send in proposals and the most sustainable ones will be chosen for support. Proposals we would look at would be for a numeracy specialist, literacy specialist, psychologist, things that would help the establishment to get better educational results. So, we’re not looking at painting schools, and building walls or fences,” she said.
Despite the credit crunch, Ms. Toby said she is grateful that people have been generous and “willing to support the cause.”
The JNBS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the organisation and JPE has already been launched in the United States and the United Kingdom, and very soon in the Cayman Islands.

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