Happy New Year! A Review of 2012

// January 1st, 2013 //

The HELP Jamaica! Team wishes all family, friends and supporters a great start into 2013!

Review of the year 2012 at the HELP Jamaica! Education Center in Cassava Piece, Kingston 8.

The year started with the arrival of Volunteer Ursula “Munchy” Münch in January, she stayed with us for the full year 2012 and generously donated her time and energy.

Munchy with her best friend Building the new classroom all together now Painting the new classroom New Classroom in use

In the first weeks of January, we completed our new second classroom, which was needed to accommodate the constantly increasing numbers of attendees at the Center. We finally opened the classroom with a function on March 27, 2012, with distinguished guests and the community.

Two weeks prior to that, on March 10, 2012 we celebrated the 1st anniversary of our Center in Cassava Piece, Kingston 8. Our annual football tournament and community dance was held with music provided by SoundQuake, Coppershot Sound, Chunky Four Star and others. First Anniversary Video

In February we welcomed Linda & Louis from the ‘Nice Up The Walls’ Project (UK), who did a stunning mural on the walls located in the backyard of our Center. We further hosted the ‘Urban Street Art Project’, organized by the German Embassy in Kingston and proudly welcomed The Honorable A. J. Nicholson (Minister for Foreign Affairs), as well as the German and French Ambassadors as visitors at the Center.


CenterAnniversary_Poster The 2011 HELP Jamaica! Cup Linda from 'Nice up the walls' project new painting impresses the kids Urban Art Gallery Project with German Embassy




In March, we welcomed our new CEO and Manager at the Education Center, Mrs. Virginia Chin, who is a great and valued asset to the organization and has contributed much to the developments with her experience, her vision and tireless dedication.

During 2012, we teamed up with people from the community and organized a ‘Fun Friday’ and a community Spelling Bee Contest at our Center, in order to strengthen our roots in the community and to raise awareness for our educational programmes and offers. We celebrated Easter, Christmas and many birthdays at the Center during the course of the year, and have had police officers, teachers and many local and international volunteers and visitors at the Center to read, play and interact with the children. We welcomed the artists Chronixx and Kelissa, Conkarah and others at the Center, who supported us with music, workshops and other creative activities. Further highlights during 2012 included a dancing class held by German dancehall queen Swaggi Maggi, our netball tournament for the women and our first full ‘Summer School Program’ during the summer holidays, which offered various activities as well as a field trip with the children to the Jamaica Institute’s Museum and the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston and other places such as Emancipation Park, Kings House, Jamaica House, Ministry of Education and the University in Mona (UWI).

Mrs Chin & 'Superman' Chronixx & Kids Dancing Class with 'Maggi' Resting place during field trip with the kids Spelling Class Youngsters

We improved our media presence and popularity, with local and international press highlighting our work, and chairperson Birte Timm and volunteer teacher Oneil Morrison had the opportunity to introduce our work to the public in Jamaica on TVJ’s popular ‘Smile Jamaica’ Morning Show.

With the new term starting September, we held an ‘Orientation Day’ for adult students and parents at the Center. Education specialist Dr. Beverly McKenzie held a motivational lecture to promote our classes and encourage the attendees. With the new term and extended classes, we are now experiencing even higher numbers of students using our facility. The team of volunteer teachers also increased to six professionals offering Adult Education Classes such as Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Computer Studies every day of the week. This probably makes us the only institution in Jamaica that provides free classes to prepare students for the Caribbean-wide accepted graduation CXC examinations, completely free of cost for the students.

In November, we were able to offer our team members a six week Life Skills training course at the RISE Life Management Services, which they successfully completed.   For the Christmas season, we started a very successful cooperation with Michael Thompson and his ‘International Reggae Poster Contest’ for the 2013 edition of the Charity Calendar, which once again is successfully sold out.

Mrs. Beverly McKenzie talking to the adult class Volunteer Assistant Tamar Staff Welcome Bowling Session at the Center The 2013 Charity Calendar Cover

We welcomed many international guests to the Center, distributed food and clothing donations from ‘Food For The Poor’ to the community, and received much support after hurricane ‘Sandy’ ravaged the community, including destroying parts of the Center roof.

The year ended in a very positive and optimistic spirit, as we installed a brand new photovoltaic solar system which was generously donated by the German Embassy in Kingston on our fixed roof. The unveiling ceremony of the 20 solar panels in the presence of The Honorable Philipp Paulwell (Minister for Energy and Mining), Senator The Honorable A. J. Nicholson (Minister For Foreign Affairs), and His Excellency, The German Ambassador Josef Beck was not only a highlight of 2012, with us being the first NGO in Jamaica to ‘go green’, but also a great day to celebrate a Christmas Treat for the children and to say thank you with a ‘farewell’ party for Munchy, who was an integral part of all these great developments at the Center during the year 2012. Solar System Video

Unveiling of the Solar System Function Solar System on our roof Manager Mrs Chin with Ms Luton a volunteer teacher at the center Merry Christmas everybody in line for cookies

These very positive developments in 2012 would not have been possible without the help of all our supporters!  Please continue to support HELP Jamaica! in the future and help us to maintain our programmes and offerings to the people of Cassava Piece and its surroundings.

With best wishes for a wonderful 2013!
Education For A Change!

Slideshow of pictures taken in the past year!


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