Sun | May 27, 2018

GKMS touching migrant workers' lives

Published:Saturday | November 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM
GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) representatives Michelle Allen (left) and Sean Mason (extreme back), regional director of Western Union International, along with scholarship recipients and their parents at a press conference held at The Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay last week.

It was a joyful moment for at least one parent, who openly expressed his gratitude for the assistance his daughter got from GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) to assist with her educational needs.

Carlton Woodstock, a migrant worker of Maldon in upper St James, thanked GKMS, through its remittance company, Western Union, for selecting his child, Makayla Woodstock as one of 100 students, who benefited from a combined scholarship of $1 million.

Despite a 10 per cent decline in remittance inflows to Jamaica since September, GKMS was still able to extend the gesture. This is the second year that GKMS and Western Union are offering scholarships to primary and all-age schoolchildren of migrant workers. The investment has totalled some $3.5 million to date.

Woodstock, who is employed on the government's overseas work programme in Michigan in the United States, flew into the island to attend the scholarship handover press conference at The Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay.

"My wife and I are really grateful for this scholarship. We are very happy," Woodstock exclaimed.


Sandra Forbes, GKMS senior marketing manager, explained that the migrant workers, whose children benefited from the initiative, were all working in the United States and Canada.

"Over the years, we have been working very closely with the migrant workers, educating them before they leave Jamaica," said Forbes, "We also have a team that visits the Ministry of Labour up to four times weekly, who work closely with the workers and advise them of Western Union's products and services.

"When persons are travelling for the first time, we ensure that we sensitise them on some of the things to expect while abroad, so they are not going there totally uninformed," added Forbes, who acknowledged that migrant workers have been supporting Western Union for many years.

'My wife and I are really grateful for this scholarship. We are very happy.