Proxy Parents makes appeal for children
Pauline Lindo, president of International Proxy Parents (IPP), is asking corporate Jamaica to remember that "children are our future" as we approach Christmas and the New Year festive season. Lindo, in her appeal, reminds everyone that they, too, were once a child.
Speaking to The Gleaner, Lindo said, "We must not forget that we all have a responsibility to love, care and protect the children. Help us this year to help make a child have an enjoyable Christmas. All children need toys, new clothing and items for school and general development. All donations are welcome and will be shared among all the community projects we work with."
She added, "We plan to make a fantastic, traditional, Jamaican Christmas dinner, for children in our charities to experience, and we would also like to organise an outing to somewhere enlightening and uplifting this holiday," she said.
Lindo lists the community projects served by IPP as the Homestead Place of Safety, the Maxfield Park Children Home, the Glenhope Nursery, and Best Care Foundation.
"We don't give them cash; we assist with their needs. We are a caring charity that works with children, especially those who are needy or have been abandoned."
Applauding the donations already received this year, especially funds raised from the success of their annual bazaar in celebration of their 35th anniversary, Lindo said: "Everyone knows that without adequate funds, it would be impossible for us to achieve our mission. So we are grateful to members of the diplomatic community and corporate Jamaica who have supported us over the years."
She noted that the success of their annual international bazaar - the major source of funding for their projects - was extra special because of the celebration of their 35th anniversary.
Lindo said that some of the children who were helped in the past have now established successful careers at Microsoft, Bank of America and Bank of Jamaica, and others have become doctors, thereby fulfilling IPP's commitment to the community.
"The mission of the charity is to help less fortunate and needy children, including students. We have a liaison officer who works with the guidance councillors at each of the 72 schools where we operate. They identify students who need assistance and who are bright but struggling financially during the first academic year of the student's life. IPP assists selected students from second form to sixth form if they decide to continue."
IPP's public relations officer, Marie Clarke, told The Gleaner of their plans for 2016 to reach more like-minded organisations that are focusing on children's issues. Spouses of foreign diplomats have joined Jamaican women in providing financial assistance to state-run children's homes and places of safety, as well as bright but needy students in high schools every year.
"IPP is planning a public forum during Child Month 2016 to look at positive parenting, especially because of the growing number of children having babies. We will collaborate with other stakeholders to produce a document which they can share."