JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Nine children from communities in St. Catherine, seven of whom will be entering high school in September, have benefitted from assistance in their school preparations.
  • The Poverty Alleviation and Empowerment Foundation (PAEF) handed over grants to the children during a function held on August 3 at the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) offices in Spanish Town.
  • Executive Director of the Foundation, Pauline Gregory-Lewis, explained that this is the second year of support to students.

Nine children from communities in St. Catherine, seven of whom will be entering high school in September, have benefitted from assistance in their school preparations.

The Poverty Alleviation and Empowerment Foundation (PAEF) handed over grants to the children during a function held on August 3 at the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) offices in Spanish Town.

Executive Director of the Foundation, Pauline Gregory-Lewis, explained that this is the second year of support to students.

Last year, four grants totalling $60,000 were provided to students from the McAuley and Old Harbour Primary schools.

“This year we have seven new grantees from Davis, Old Harbour and Old Harbour Bay Primary schools and two of those who received last year are returning students, who performed exceptionally well during their first year of high school. They attend the Immaculate Conception and St. Catherine High schools,” she informed.

Mrs. Gregory-Lewis said the Foundation has committed to continue assisting these students as long as they maintain a B+ average throughout high school.

For Immaculate Conception High student, Tyhecka Walters, the help from PAEF is a “welcome relief”.

“They helped me last year and again this year. I am very grateful,” she said.

Tyhecka’s mother Ann-Marie Wright, also expressed gratitude. “I thank them for helping my daughter and other children and I hope that they continue to do good work,” she said.

Vice Principal at Old Harbour Primary, George Goode, lauded PAEF for its support to the children, noting that the assistance “will impact lives positively.”

Custos of St. Catherine, Hon. Rev. Jeffrey McKenzie, who was the guest speaker at the presentation ceremony, also hailed the gesture by PAEF.

He charged the children to do well in school so that they can make a valuable contribution to the society.

“Be disciplined, be focussed, and be determined to achieve your full potential. Embrace opportunities, go to school, and learn well; don’t waste time,” he advised them.

PAEF is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2014 with a mandate to empower vulnerable persons in St. Catherine and contribute to community development.

It provides an endowment programme to assist students moving from primary to high school; assists needy students at the primary level with uniforms; provides a breakfast feeding programme for early childhood and primary schools and basic food packs to indigent persons in select communities.