Spanish Town, Jamaica - June 7, 2013: As it celebrates its 30th Anniversary today, Food For The Poor Jamaica (FFPJ) is renewing its commitment to continue to serve the economically and socially challenged in Jamaica. Andrew Mahfood, Chairman, FFPJ, says that by providing citizens with basic necessities, skills training and assisting with the development of income-generating activities, FFPJ has been realizing its mandate of encouraging sustainable development among Jamaicans.
"We have been delighted to serve the poorest of the poor in Jamaica. Lending a helping hand to empower others is our main inspiration at Food For The Poor," Mr. Mahfood asserts. "We will continue to do so through the provision of shelter, clothing, food, skills training, agricultural and emergency relief programmes, as well as micro-enterprise development."
During the past three decades, FFPJ has grown phenomenally from a small feeding programme in Kingston, to the largest international relief organization in Jamaica.
The FFPJ Chairman is commending the donors for fuelling this growth, "We are very appreciative to our donors, as without their help, we would not be able to implement our programmes. More than 95 percent of all donations go directly to programmes that help the poor."
Robin Mahfood, President / CEO of Food For The Poor Inc. shares similar sentiments. He expresses confidence that Food For The Poor continues to serve as a ray of hope to the island's destitute, through the assistance of donors and the charity's dedicated team of workers and volunteers. "Food For The Poor's donors continue to achieve amazing transformation for the poor, but the needs are immense," says Mr. Robin Mahfood. "We are asking for everyone's help to continue giving what they can to prevent more suffering and improve our charity's ability to get food and other critical supplies to those who need them the most."
Meanwhile, Mr. Andrew Mahfood today announced that the FFPJ Jamaica 50 Campaign, which was launched in June last year, in celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of Independence, is on track to complete 15 schools in 12 months. "During this month, we will be officially opening four early childhood institutions constructed under the FFPJ Jamaica 50 Campaign." The FFPJ Campaign aims to build and or upgrade 50 basic schools islandwide in 50 months.
Recipient school communities have been elated at the intervention of FFPJ. The views of Rosalyn Gayle, Principal, High House Basic School, is reflective of the views of those school communities, which have benefited from the FFP Jamaica 50 Campaign. Mrs. Gayle is expressing appreciation to Food For The Poor on behalf of the school community for the new school, provided under the Jamaica 50 Programme. She says since the new school was opened in February this year, "it is a special treasure in the community and many parents who did not want to send their children to the old, dilapidated school are now sending their young ones to the new school."The new High House Basic School comprises three classrooms, a sickbay, an office for the teachers, kitchen and bathrooms, and has the capacity to accommodate 100 children.
The FFPJ Chairman discloses that since the inception of the charity, it has built 33,862 housing units in Jamaica for needy persons, with 1,172 of that number being built last year. In the area of agriculture, FFPJ has been assisting small farmers and institutions to become more self-reliant. The organization has provided planting material, technical expertise and assisted with the development of marketing programmes for hundreds of farmers. This approach in empowering farmers has been done through FFP's Rural Economic Agricultural Programme (REAP) and the EU-funded Economic Diversification Programme for Banana Producing Parishes.
On the matter of health care, FFPJ provides health care items to hospitals, health centres, infirmaries and nursing homes. The donations are comprised of beds, wheelchairs, surgical equipment, ambulances, and pharmaceuticals. For 2012, FFPJ distributed health care supplies valued at J$3.1 billion to public health facilities, non-governmental organizations, infirmaries and schools. In February alone this year, the charity provided the Ministry of Health with 200 wheelchairs, 40 hospital beds, several operating theatre lights, stretchers and sofas; for use in its hospitals and health centres. "In our thrust to assist in enhancing public health and improving patient care in Jamaica, FFPJ also runs several annual health fairs which provide free medical and dental services," Mr. Mahfood points out.
He provides an update on some of the other sustainable activities, which FFPJ is fostering among communities: "We continue to assist fishermen in 16 Food For The Poor Fishing Village Projects throughout the island. We have trained them in environmentally sound fishing techniques, so that they will become more productive." The charity has also provided fishermen with boats, equipment, gear sheds, cold storage facilities, housing, food, and furniture.
As part of its 30th Anniversary celebrations, FFPJ will today (Friday, June 7) celebrate with the fishermen at the Manchioneal Fishing Village in Portland. This Fishing Village has been a beneficiary over the years, of the FFPJ Fishing Village Project.
Other highlights of FFPJ's programmes to assist the less fortunate include:
- Providing life-saving emergency aid to survivors of natural disasters. By having an established network of resources throughout the island, FFPJ can offer emergency aid quickly and effectively.
- Assisting with fruit tree planting projects, and animal husbandry, which provide food and income, thereby helping to create self-sustaining communities.
- Constructing training centres and clinics.
- Providing economic and social support to children's homes and homes for the elderly
- Offering educational grants and school supplies to needy students
- Providing schools with furniture
- Providing clean water to residents
Food For The Poor (FFP)-Jamaica is the largest charity organization in the country. Food For The Poor Inc., located in Florida, USA, was named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the United States. It is an interdenominational Christian agency that does much more than feed the millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. FFP provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95% of all donations going directly to programmes that help the poor. For more information visit our Web site at www.foodforthepoorja.com
Erica James-King|PROComm l (876) 564-5277 or (876) 926-6740
Petri-Ann Henry | Food For The Poor Jamaica I (876) 564-2886 or (876) 907-3664 |
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