Thu | Feb 20, 2020

Maryland-based organisation helps needy in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | May 26, 2019 | 12:08 AMDerrick Scott - Contributor
Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston, the Most Reverend Charles Dufour, presents the 2019 Partnership for Good Shepherd Award to Ms Gressel Cathnott for her outstanding contribution to the Mustard Seed Communities.
Chancellor Emeritus of The University of the West Indies, Sir George Alleyne, delivers the keynote address.

The Maryland-based Partners of Good Shepherd Jamaica (POGS) has contributed just over US$75,000 in financial assistance to various projects to assist the vulnerable and underserved in various communities in Jamaica.

According to POGS President Joy Dufour, her organisation has been very pleased to be able to render this assistance over the past seven years.

“Good Shepherd Jamaica was established to assist the poor and infirmed, and it is our mission to provide financial, physical and moral support to address the educational and healthcare needs of the disadvantaged in Jamaica,” she explained.

Dufour gave an overview of the POGS Maryland chapter at the organisation’s seventh fundraising dinner-dance in Rockville, Maryland, earlier this month. She told the large audience that their contributions have helped the organisation to support the Mustard Seed Communities and Good Shepherd Foundation of Jamaica, as well as the Good Shepherd Medical Complex, a state-of-the-art health facility in Montego Bay that provides healthcare needs of the working poor in the Jamaican tourist capital.


Dufour conceded that POGS alone cannot change Jamaica, but “it can cast a stone across the waters to create a ripple”.

It is a drop in the ocean, she said, “but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”.

In her message to mark the occasion – read by the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Jamaica, Andrea Dubidad-Dixon – Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, commended the POGS membership for devoting itself to providing much-needed support and assistance to the poor and disadvantaged in Jamaica. “I am thrilled to note the remarkable progress that POGS Jamaica has made in its relatively short life.”

This newly built medical centre and hope hospice located in Montego Bay, as well as the Mustard Seed Communities which has been serving the needs of the vulnerable in Jamaica, have been the primary beneficiaries of the benevolence of POGS in a culture that is increasingly characterised by self-centredness.

“Your tangible support to these organisations sends a strong message of love and hope to the benefactors,” she declared.

Ambassador Marks added that the support of POGS complements the efforts of the Government of Jamaica, which has accorded high priority to reducing the level of poverty in Jamaica.

“While we have experienced success on the economic front supported by the macroeconomic stability over several consecutive quarters of growth, reduction of debt, inflation and unemployment, we are cognisant of the need for social protection for the poor and vulnerable in the society.”

It is for this reason that the Government in Jamaica has increased cash grants by about 50 per cent to approximately 300,000 beneficiaries of its flagship social assistance Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), the ambassador explained.

In his address, former chancellor of The University of the West Indies Sir George Alleyne lauded POGS for its consistency in supporting the poor and needy in Jamaica. Sir George appealed to the audience to support this organisation, as the funds are channelled into the right direction, which is assisting the vulnerable in the Jamaican society.

The 2019 POGS Award for outstanding contribution to the organisation and to the Mustard Seed Communities went to Ms Grezzel Cathnott.