Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Charity group pushes into non-traditional high schools

Published:Monday | November 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Marie Clarke, president of the International Proxy Parents.
The Hydel Dance Troupe entertains with a dance during the International Proxy Parents Bazaar held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last Saturday.
JCDC gold medalist Courtney Greaves (center) stands with Iyabode Odufa (left) and Nigerian Ambassador. Janet Omoleegho Olisa at the International Proxy Parents Bazaar
Mei He (centre) and son vitas Xiao as well as Yuxi Chen (left) locate various countries on a world map at the international Proxy Parents Bazaa.
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Indicating that there will be a renewed focus in catering to non-traditional high schools, Marie Clarke, president of the International Proxy Parents (IPP), said she has no regrets catering to children in traditional high schools, as they are equally in need.

The IPP is a non-profit charitable organisation with a primary focus to help less privileged children in Jamaica while sponsoring the education of those excelling in high schools.

 

Support welcomed

 

Clarke, who was speaking with The Gleaner at the IPP's bazaar, held last Saturday at The Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, said that despite the rain, she was happy for the support and hopes the event would raise more than $1 million to cater to the myriad of needs which exist.

"We want to get into more of the non-traditional high schools. People will ask why are we going into the traditional schools, but some of these children are coming from Linstead (St Catherine) and they are short of funds, so there is no reason why you can't help them. As long as the need exists we will try to help," said Clarke.

"There are more schools asking us for help. We work through the guidance counsellors and the form teachers to give us the girls or the boys who are needy.

"The parents can't afford to pay for the exam fees so when CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) comes around, they don't have the funds so we say we will sponsor them for $20,000 and if there is extra [need], we cover that as well," added Clarke.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who was at the bazaar, expressed her gratitude to the organisation, admitting that successive governments have not been able to fully cater to the holistic needs to the nation's children.

"So much of our potential lies within our young people (and) we are not always able to do what we can, as successive administrations ... to optimise their potential; but with partnerships, that is how we accomplish as much as we do today," said Johnson Smith.