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IPP gives scholarships, cheer to needy children

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Hutchinson
Some of the children being feted at a recent IPP event.
Vered Saldinger (centre), president of International Proxy Parents, poses with Alfredo Garcia, Ambassador of Chile, and Elena Girvan who works at the embassy, at last year's bazaar. - Contributed photos
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Some 60 scholarships have been awarded to students but the need for more is still great. So said Vered Saldinger, president of the International Proxy Parents (IPP), in an interview with The Gleaner last Friday. At a time when the Government's coffers are low and all sectors, including education, are suffering, the IPP, continues to make a difference in the lives of the nation's needy but bright children.

But just who are the IPP, and what is their focus? The non-profit organisation was started in 1980 by a group of expatriate women, but membership has since been boosted by Jamaicans and wives of diplomats posted here. There are also new moves afoot to re-attract more of the latter to the IPP's fold.

In 1995, the IPP became a registered company and a year later, gained charitable status. Donations made by corporate entities and others to the IPP are tax deductible. The organisation earns money for its projects from various events, such as its annual bazaar in November. This international event offers items of art, craft and cuisine from many countries, for sale at very reasonable prices. The once popular spring ball was another source of funds that the IPP is hoping to revive.

"We are trying to bring back the embassy wives to help with our projects and get more international countries represented," Saldinger said.

There are some 80 listed members of the IPP but only between 40-45 attend monthly meetings regularly.

"We get members by inviting persons to join or sometimes guests of existing members decide to join," said Jeanette Hutchinson, public relations chairperson.

Meetings are held monthly (first Wednesdays at 10 a.m.), except July and August.

Hutchinson also noted that IPP members make regular visits to children's homes to interact with the wards, give cooking lessons, take them to the beach or the theatre.

WHAT'S NEXT?

On June 1, the IPP will host 'Shawarma Night' featuring Middle Eastern cuisine and entertainment at the Mayfair Hotel, from 7-11 p.m. It will cost adults $2,500 and children under 12, $1,500. All proceeds will benefit the children served by the IPP. For more on the organisation or to make a donation, email: president@internationalproxyparents.com.

Make cheques payable to International Proxy Parents or telephone: 876-927-8124.