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JIS News

Communities in rural Jamaica are to benefit from $14 million in grant funding from the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation, to undertake projects that will spur community development.
Giving details of the project at a public forum in Morant Bay, St. Thomas recently, JNBS Eastern Regional Manager, Elroy Flowers, informed that one million dollars would be allocated per parish for small projects that have the potential to generate income and employment.
“This is one of the ways through which we hope to make a difference in the various communities .so community groups can then approach the foundation for funding to assist them,” he stated.
“There is nothing special in it for JNBS. All we are doing is trying to spur development in rural communities, help create a spirit of advocacy and as a corporate citizen, give something back to Jamaicans for the years of support given to the building society,” he added.
Mr. Flowers informed that applications for funding must come from community-based organizations and not from individuals and the projects must be income and employment generating, self-sustaining and have clear benefits to the community.
A five-member committee is to be established to assess the project applications that come in and give the final approval for funding.
The committee, though not yet formed, would be relying heavily on the resources of the Social Development Commission (SDC), which has an effective community-based infrastructure.
Community Development Officer with the SDC, Nikima Leslie, told JIS News that the organization, over the years, has been instrumental in bringing together communities and state or private sector agencies, to find solutions for problems or to help chart a course for development.
“We have the grass-root connections, we are known for the work we do so it is a good collaboration and we will happily work with JNBS in deciding which projects they would want to assist and help communities to prioritize”, she stated.
The SDC has a network of community-based organizations, which operate at the local level, community-based committees, which function at the zonal level, and development area committees, which operate at the parish level.