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41 charities receive US$600,000 grant funding from AFJ

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
The recipients in attendance at the American Friends of Jamaica Inc. grant ceremony held at the United States Embassy in St Andrew on Tuesday.
Kelly Magnus of Fight For Peace, one of many grant recipients at the American Friends of Jamaica Inc. grants ceremony held at the United States Embassy in St Andrew on Tuesday.

It is Kelly Magnus' dream to build a culture of reading in the six inner-city communities in which the Fight for Peace Foundation operates. Now, with the receipt of a grant from the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), she expects that her dream will become a reality.

Magnus, who is the country lead for the foundation, was among representatives of 41 organisations that received grant funding - valued close to $US600,000 - from the AFJ during an awards ceremony held at the United States Embassy in Kingston on Tuesday.

Magnus said that although there were a number of challenges that emerged from time to time, she expected great outcomes from the young people that the foundation mentors in the communities of Parade Gardens, Fletchers Land, Hannah Town, Trench Town, Denham Town, and Tivoli Gardens.

"The grant from AFJ was to implement a book club, which is what a group of boys suggested. We will use it to help with reading and writing programmes across the communities that we work in to expose the children to books that they otherwise wouldn't have access to," Magnus disclosed.

"We want to grow the culture of reading in the communities where we work so that more people can be involved in reading and writing."

Magnus also told The Gleaner that her foundation was seeking to collaborate with a number of other stakeholders in a bid to strengthen their reach and influence.

"It has been challenging, but we are trying to build a collaborative programme with a network of local partners that treats youth violence prevention from a number of different angles," she disclosed. "So each partner specialises in one area, and then we bring them together and have them deliver a joint programme that is more than what any one partner could develop."

Wendy Hart, president of AFJ, reassured the audience that the organisation would continue to do its part to uplift Jamaicans.