1Jam1Love Foundation pushes education in St Ann
BROWN'S TOWN, St Ann:
The 1Jam1Love Foundation and its founder, Rushell Wright, is turning up the drive in reaching children from Brown's Town and other rural areas in St Ann.
An upcoming project is the Mala Learning Centre, which is set to be opened soon.
Commenting on the programme, Wright told Rural Xpress she needs to start this movement for those who need it the most.
"While visiting several rural communities, we noticed that many children were either not enrolled in school and if they were, they were struggling academically. This issue was concerning to me, so I started researching more about Jamaica's literacy rate, which I found out was one of the poorest in the Caribbean. Jamaica's literacy rate is currently 87.5 per cent. Due to my finding, I said to myself, 'You have to do something,' and that something will be 'Mala'," said Wright
Presently, the building which will house the centre has been leased and is being renovated. Wright expects the process to be completed in the next few months.
Once up and running, she said the focus will be on literacy and numeracy.
"We will incorporate technology for both of our programmes to keep the children engaged and interested to learn. All of our teaching and learning materials will be electronic. Teachers, principals and other educators are currently developing programmes that align with our 'personalised learning' technique," she said.
Cognisant of the fact that every child's learning is different, she said lessons will be tailored to serve 'the whole child'.
Last year, the foundation awarded its first Hill's Scholarship and it is now accepting applications from students in the seven communities in St Ann.
"The scholarship will help with tuition expenses and ranges from J$15,000-$30,000. Our organisation is currently accepting applications," she shared.
Adopted Alva Primary
The foundation has been working in St Ann since 2014 when they adopted Alva Primary and Infant School and awarded the top Grade Six Achievement Test student with a scholarship and a tablet. They also provided students with books, pencils and other stationery items.
"Since we started working in St Ann, we have provided over 2,000 children with back-to-school supplies, assisted 20 high-school students with tuition expenses, provided medical assistance to five families, as well as social welfare assistance to a number of families," said Wright on its impact.
A native of St Ann, Wright said she is giving back because it is the right thing to do.
"I know what it feels like to struggle, to go hungry and to worry about my tomorrow. So if I can help someone to worry less and live a better life, I will continue to do charitable work," is the commitment she is making.
Her commitment is sorely tested though as for her, the biggest challenges in carrying out her mandate are funding and clearing the items after they are shipped.
"We are in the process of registering in Jamaica, so hopefully that will reduce the hefty fees associated with Customs. Thankfully, the Ministry of Education Region 3 is aware of our contribution to the schools in the area and assisted with our last shipment that came in for a school," she said, adding that the Government needs to implement more programmes that will enhance the communities. "They need to work with local charities that are focusing on community development."
For her, voluntarism is one of the best ways to show love and care and build a better Jamaica.