Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Scotia Jamaica Foundation Celebrates 20 Years in Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | November 1, 2016 | 11:00 AMKeisha Hill
Joylene Griffiths Irving (front right), executive director ScotiaFoundation, poses with the 2016 beneficiaries of scoliosis surgeries and the hospital team. The presentations to the beneficiaries were made at the Kingston Public Hospital recently.

After 20 years, the ScotiaFoundation remains committed to its objectives of supporting nation-building interventions to improve education and health care and promoting community development. Established on February 13, 1996, with an endowment fund of J$100 million ScotiaFoundation focuses on development,

particularly of youth, through sports, education and health care.

According to Joylene Griffiths Irving, director, corporate social responsibility and executive director, ScotiaFoundation at Scotiabank Jamaica, it is important to continue the work they have been doing because they make a difference in the lives of those who really need assistance.

dreams to reality

"There are students who otherwise would never have had the opportunity to attend high school or pursue tertiary education. They could dream about it before but those dreams became a reality through the ScotiaFoundation," Griffiths Irving said.

The ScotiaFoundation has maintained its strategic focus on enhancing the quality of life for the nation's children and has recorded some 12,790 volunteer hours on projects which promote education, child health and wellness, sports and community development, culture and protection of the environment. The 31 projects spearheaded by the Foundation have positively impacted more than 13,000

children.

Investing in education, according to Griffiths Irving, is one of the most powerful agents of social and economic transformation. Since its inception in 1999, the Shining Star Scholarships awarded to outstanding performers in the annual Grade Six Achievement Test, has opened opportunities for educational advancement to many youngsters. A total of 113 students are currently benefitting from ScotiaFoundation Shining Star Scholarships at the secondary and tertiary levels.

work hard

"The communities that many of these children live in look up to them as achievers and leaders and see them as an example which reaffirms their desire to be more determined to work hard and be successful," Griffiths Irving said.

The foundation has rebranded its breakfast programme with the staging of its own Nutrition for Learning Week.

Some 1,545 children at nine beneficiary schools in four parishes this year enjoyed a double treat when national leaders, as well as foundation directors and senior managers, who visited their schools, prepared and served breakfast. Under the Scoliosis and Spine Care Programme, the foundation and its partner, -Medical Technologies Limited, covered the cost of the life-saving surgery for 10 youngsters between ages 14 and 18 at the Kingston Public Hospital. This totals 75 beneficiaries since the programme began.

The foundation also continues to support the Salvation Army's annual Christmas Red Kettle Drive, one of the group's long- standing commitments, with support including collections in branches islandwide.The ScotiaFoundation also focuses on the environment through the Scotia Goes Green programme.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com