GraceKennedy runs for education
Rochelle Keane, Lifestyle Writer
"We run because so many require each stride, step or turn of a wheel to complete their individual race. We are so very grateful for every single entrant in the GKER (GraceKennedy's Education Run) each year because it brings us one step closer to making a difference in a child's life," Tanketa Chance-Wilson told Flair.
Chance-Wilson, deputy general manager of the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation (G&S), was proud to discuss the importance of this charity that has been a part of the outreach arm of GraceKennedy for more than three decades.
The GKER is a charity event hosted by the company to raise funds to support the education programme administered by the G&S.
The G&S Foundation's commitment to community development is exercised in varied ways. "Though the education programme is the main focus, we also offer assistance in other areas. We provide emotional counselling for beneficiaries and the wider community; mentoring for youth, that is, providing positive role models; parent education through the establishment of parent groups comprising of parents of the student beneficiaries; employment opportunities through micro credit and business counselling and mediation".
So far, the GKER has established five homework centres located in communities where GraceKennedy and its subsidiaries are located. The first centre was opened in Central Kingston/Parade Gardens. Other centres are located in Majesty Gardens, Barbican, Spanish Town and, more recently, in Savanna-la-Mar. Chance-Wilson said that there have been cases where students are considered from outside these areas to attend the centres, resulting in nearly 500 students now benefiting from the education programme.
With every run, there is success. Chance-Wilson explains to Flair that, over the years, more students are successfully completing high school and a significant number are moving on to sixth form and tertiary institutions. "What this means is that students are not only going through the school system, but are passing exams. In 2013, we saw most students passing between five and ten CXC subjects. One student passed all of 10 subjects while another received nine ones. This year, more than 60 of our students did the CXC examinations, 44 sat the GSAT and 36 CAPE, and we are expecting good results."
"Lives are changed as the Foundation provides, not only financial support to beneficiaries, but, based on continuous assessments, emotional support as well. It is amazing to know some of the dire difficulties faced by our children and how a little assistance can bring them a far way."
If you missed the run yesterday, please don't miss the next one. Join hands with GKER and show your support as you run or walk to assist in developing not only the inner cities of Jamaica, but the country as a whole.