Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spain boosts Food for the Poor School Furniture Drive

Tristan Alvarado (2nd from left) presents the donation from Solo Foundation to Andrew Mahfood, Food for the Poor Jamaica Chairman.  Others from left are Dr Rebecca Tortello, General Manager of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation, Her Excellency Celsa Nuño, Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica and Francois Chailfour, Chairman of Friends of Food for the Poor.

It was a beautiful morning last Friday at Food for the Poor Jamaica, when the dynamic Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, Celsa Nuño, and fellow Spaniard Tristan Garcia Alvarado presented over $2.2 million, the cost of a container of 1,150 desks and matching chairs for Jamaica’s schools. This has pushed the Food for the Poor 30th Anniversary School Furniture Drive past the halfway mark, as Chairman Andrew Mahfood aims at a well-needed 15,000 desks and chairs. 
Ambassador Nuño made the presentation as President of the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation which has been recognizing top Spanish teachers throughout the island. Manager of the Foundation Dr Rebecca Tortello says the Ambassador is a strong advocate for the teaching of Spanish in our schools, as this could forge important links with the other 375 million citizens of Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Students from the beneficiary school, Edith Dalton James Comprehensive High, try out the new furniture.
We learned from Ambassador Nuño that Tristan Alvarado has been resident in Jamaica since 1994 and was a prime-mover in bringing the popular Riu chain to Jamaica. Mr Alvarado explained that his donation of J$1,189,100 was collected from the shop operators in the Spanish hotels who encourage visitors to support Jamaican charities.
Our Spanish friends were delighted with the performance of Shaliece Dawkins, President of the St. Catherine High School Spanish Club. She sang a beautiful Spanish version of “We Are The World”, her poise and talent reminding us that this school furniture drive is key to the development of our promising Jamaican children.  A big ‘thank you’ to Ambassador Nuño and Tristan Alvarado!

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