Sun | Sep 24, 2017

‘Turning dreams to reality’ - ScotiaFoundation celebrates 20 years

Published:Sunday | December 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
The ScotiaFoundation's commitment to children on display at the launch of Child Month.
Joylene Griffiths (left), executive director of the ScotiaFoundation, listens intently as Patrick Newman, manager, Mount Olivet Boys Home, outlines his plans for four calves the foundation presented to the home.
International recording artise Queen Ifrica (second right) joins members of the ScotiaFoundation at the launch of activities to mark Child Month.
MP Desmond McKenzie (centre) joins Scotia volunteers to serve breakfast to students at the Denham Town Primary School as part of the ScoitaFoundation's Nutrition for Learning programme.
ScotiaFoundation’s executive director, Joylene Griffiths Irving leading an interactive motivational session with parents and students from the Norman Manley, Tivoli Gardens and Gaynstead high schools.
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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 $100 million Scotia-Foundation focuses on development, particularly of youth, through sports, education and health care.

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

"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," said Griffiths Irving.

The ScotiaFoundation has maintained its strategic focus on enhancing the quality of life for the nation's children and has recorded some 13,000 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 the lives of more than 13,000 children.

Investing in education, according to Griffiths Irving, is one of the most powerful agents of social and economic transformation.

 

Shining star scholarships

 

Since its inception in 1999, the Shining Star Scholarships awarded to outstanding performers in the annual Grade Six Achievement Test, have opened opportunities for educational advancement to many youngsters. A total of 113 students are now benefiting from ScotiaFoundation Shining Star Scholarships at the secondary and tertiary levels.

"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," said Griffiths Irving.

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

Some 1,500 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, 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, including via collections in branches islandwide. The ScotiaFoundation also focuses on the environment through the Scotia Goes Green programme.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com