A recent donation from the Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) of $500,000 represents another significant measure of support from a private-sector company to Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ). The cheque was presented by chief executive officer of ICWI, Paul Lalor, during the launch of the JAJ National Library exhibitions last Wednesday.
JAJ has set a target of 23,000 students to be reached by 2013. The local non-profit is aiming to increase its student reach from about 15,000 students as it expands its programmes to more schools and community-based groups across the island. Trained teachers and private-sector volunteers deliver these programmes. They focus on building the skills of students in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness.
"We are committed to helping Junior Achievement accomplish their target as we believe that their programmes will contribute to the sustained economic development of Jamaica," said Lalor.
Lalor made the presentation to general manager of CIBC First Caribbean Building Society, Velmore Lawrence, representing the board of JAJ.
President of JAJ Alphie Mullings-Aiken was overwhelmed by the generosity of ICWI and stressed the importance of partnering with government and private sector in increasing the quality of education and job creation.
"Jamaica is heading in the right direction. ICWI's donation is another signal of the private sector's interest in growing the Jamaican economy by educating our youth," Mullings-Aiken said.
Mullings-Aiken highlighted that other private-sector companies such as Citibank, CIBC FCIB, Scotiabank, JN Fund Managers, GraceKennedy, RBC Royal Bank, Ernst & Young, Flow, Caribbean Broilers, Jamaica Producers, Sagicor, Microsoft, General Electric, Rotary - Mandeville, and others, have sponsored Junior Achievement programmes in schools for the 2012-2013 academic year.
JAJ focuses on youth development through experiential hands-on academic programmes, taught to students ages 5-24. Founded in 2010, JAJ is a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which currently operates in 122 countries globally. JAJ's impact is boosted by its long-term partnership with the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development.