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// April 27th, 2017 // No Comments » // News

The following  is a review of the year 2016 plus news about future plans and activities of HELP Jamaica! e.V.

We – the HELP Jamaica! team – would like to thank our donors and supporters.

We look back on a very eventful and moving year, especially in Cassava Piece. After eight years of construction and expansion of the centre, the project is striving to become independent – a complex step, yet one of the most important for any project.
But let’s begin one step at a time – after all, it was a long year:

First of all, we are happy to report another successful year at the education centre. Around 70 children took part in the centre’s full-day program five days a week. As many as 80 teenagers and adults also participated in the diverse daily course offerings. This included the CXC evening classes in English, maths, and social studies, as well as the certified computer courses held every morning as a permanent and well-frequented component of the daily course schedule.

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In 2016, the centre once again profited from various cooperative efforts and initiatives with artists and committed people from around the world. For instance, we received football shoes, balls, and equipment from Finland, hosted art projects and music workshops with friends from Jamaica, Hungary, Switzerland, and Italy, filmed music videos, and invited various artists to the centre to entertain the children. We were also able to successfully complete the education programme for adults in Spring Village/St. Catherine, which was started in September 2015 with the help of the Rotary Club from Palatine, Illinois (USA).

We have always been dedicated to ensuring that we integrate and communicate with the community and with committed people. Our ideal is to build projects with the community and with local forces, then to hand them over fully to these people when a time has come that stability, continuity, effectiveness, and sustainability are guaranteed.

As early as March 2016, we began to discuss with the board how to achieve greater independence in the centre’s operations. Together, we decided that the local organization should detach from HELP Jamaica! and should register under a new and independent name, while still being able to count on HELP Jamaica! e.V. as a reliable support, with a pledge on our end to continue to support the centre’s work with a considerable share (approx. one-third) of the total donations of the German association throughout 2017.

review_cdec Over the course of the year, the CDEC (Cassava Piece Development & Education Center) was registered by the local team as a new bearer of the educational institution. But even for an on-going project, the step to independence can be compared to a new beginning. All beginnings are difficult. The opportunity to design and build one’s own new structures is a task that should not be underestimated. This responsibility has been passed along with complete confidence, based on the long-standing successful work at the centre. Unfortunately, disagreements in the newly opened divisions led to considerable conflict within the board of CDEC towards the end of 2016.

We have waited a long time to make a public statement regarding the situation in the hopes that the local team would reach an agreement and once again become a reliable partner for HELP Jamaica!. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved over the past weeks. In deepest solidarity with centre life, the community in Cassava Piece, the young and old visitors, and numerous helping hands, we hope that personal interests will once again be set aside in favour of the idealism of the former HELP Jamaica! Education Centre, so that this promising project can serve the people in an exemplary way. We continue to stand behind our promise of supporting the centre in the future (see above) as soon as it again pursues responsible and sustainable work.

For the association HELP Jamaica! e.V., 2016 began with the impending independence of the CDEC, paving a path and opportunity for new project plans and cooperative efforts in order to become active in other areas of Kingston/Jamaica, which has always been our goal.

Paint Jamaica    www.facebook.com/paintjamaica

review_paintjamaca With our charity calendar for 2017 we introduced one of our new partners. Half of the revenue from the sales of this year’s calendar will go directly to new projects of Paint Jamaica. The grassroots organisation aims to transform downtown Kingston into a giant open air street art gallery, thereby contributing to the positive development of communities according to the Fleet Street model (see calendar images). The former socially troubled area Community Parade Gardens on Fleet Street has since turned into a tourist attraction. More than 1000 enthusiastic visitors from over 40 different countries in an area that not even taxi drivers used to drive to is a statement that speaks for itself.

Life Yard, another location on Fleet Street and the keeper of the above-mentioned guest book, is also closely tied to Paint Jamaica. The fact that Paint Jamaica initiated its first project in Parade Gardens is surely also an upshot of the existence and long-standing local social work of Life Yard.

Life Yard    www.facebook.com/lifeteam360

review_lifeyard Life Yard is a friendly oasis and a unique meeting point in downtown Kingston. Life Yard was created in 2014 as a group of young and highly committed people who joined together, forming a driving force of positive change. Together, they transformed an area at Fleet Street 44 into fertile farmland, built a small restaurant that supplies the community with affordable Ital Food from its own cultivation and created housing for volunteers. Life Yard serves as an open, highly committed community centre for all age groups. With a small budget, entirely voluntary and non-profit work, they accomplish a great deal. They provide afternoon care for children and offer tutoring, lead tours through the community,  host the Paint Jamaica Open Air Gallery for tourists as well as movie nights, amongst other things. They also build furniture from wooden pallets and manage sustainable organic cultivation of fruits and vegetables in the back of the site. As a movement and a collective, Life Yard is an active community par excellence!

We are happy to support Life Yard in their work under the mantra of ‘eat what you grow – use what you have – clean up and beautify – expand your mind’ and look forward to inspiring projects in the future.

Manifesto Jamaica    www.manifestojamaica.com / www.facebook.com/ManifestoJA

review_manifesto Manifesto Jamaica is an NGO that aims to be an agent of positive change and to support the development of youth. Their mission is to ‘EDUCATE, EXPOSE & EMPOWER youth through Art and Culture’. In the future, we want to support certain projects of Manifesto Jamaica financially and, together with the Manifesto Jamaica team, we are already developing a project concept focused on entrepreneurship, and more specifically, the establishment of training workshops for screen-printing in Kingston. We will hopefully follow up with more information about this project soon, once the project has been officially defined.

You can find more information about the projects of the individual groups and organizations on their websites or social media channels and soon on our HELP Jamaica! website 2.0. We are working on completely redesigning our web presence and ask you for a few more weeks of patience.

In general, we strive to reorient HELP Jamaica! as a European donation channel for local Jamaican projects. In the future, we thus hope to increasingly support existing social and educational projects in Jamaica to develop and have a positive appeal.

In Jamaica, there are an immense number of committed people (nation builders) with great projects. Unfortunately, all of these projects have one thing in common: financing problems. This is where we can and want to provide support through our existing network of supporters, partners, and activities in Germany and at festivals. Making ends meet!

At the same time, conversations with potential project partners in Jamaica over the past year have given rise to many new inspirations that make way for new approaches as well as exciting project ideas for the future. When one door closes, another opens!

The educational work thus far has only been possible thanks to the financial support of numerous donors. We hope to find even more supporters and people sharing our vision so that we can continue and expand our work realizing the goals of HELP Jamaica! e.V. – Education For A Change!

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch personally, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at info@helpjamaica.org

Thank you,

The HELP Jamaica! e.V Team

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The 2017 Charity Calendar – Out Now!

// October 8th, 2016 // No Comments » // News

01_Cover2017 Christmas soon come….
Get your perfect Christmas gift!

Give out the calendar to somebody as a present and make a donation towards HELP Jamaica! and Paint Jamaica at the same time!

This year we teamed up with ‘Paint Jamaica’ a grassroots organization and an art initiative born in July 2014 out of the idea that art can fuel positive social change. We want to support Paint Jamaica’s dream to cover the entire downtown area with art, bringing pride and positive vibes to as much Jamaicans as possible. Providing new platforms for local artists to display their work and thus, highlighting Jamaica’s rich creative potential and talent. That is why we decided to share all revenues from selling this calendar with Paint Jamaica to help finance new projects.

The 2017 calendar features 12 beautiful photos of Jamaican street art. Pictures were taken at Paint Jamaica projects in downtown Kingston and generously donated by the photographers!

High quality calendar, 14 pages (size: DIN A3) offset-printed.
Carefully shrink-wrapped in transparent foil and delivered in special cardboard-box to protect and ensure secure shipment!

01_Cover2017 02_Infopage2017 03_January2017

04_February2017 05_March2017 06_April2017

07_May2017 08_June2017 09_July2017

10_August2017 11_September2017 12_October2017 13_November2017 14_December2017 01_blank

 

Make sure to order your copies from early! The limited edition gained fans from all over the world and turned into a collectors-item already… So do not wait with your order and secure your first Christmas gift(s) from early – before the year to year hustle starts and this offer is gone!

Big Up & Thanks to Paint Jamaica, the photographers who contributed their beautiful photos, as well as the graphic designer who contributed his time and skills. All free of costs towards the good cause! The 2017 HELP Jamaica! Charity Calendar would not have been possible without the generous encouragement and support of all these people! Thanks a lot!

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Website Update

// October 8th, 2016 // No Comments » // News

We want to aplogize for not keeping the website updated during 2016, we are currently working on a brand new website and hope to have it online before the end of the year! The new website by then will of course feature all what happened at HELP Jamaica! in 2016!

Until then, i would like to recommend to check for updates on Facebook – where we kept a better track on our work and achievements during 2016….because we didn’t stop working, we just never updated the website…

We hope you can accept our apology as we are still a very small NGO and our limited resources are sometimes not allowing us to do all necessary things at the same time…

Your HELP Jamaica Team!

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HELP Jamaica! Charity Calendar 2016

// October 13th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

Cover Christmas soon come….
Get your perfect Christmas gift!

Give out the calendar to somebody as a present and make a donation towards HELP Jamaica! at the same time!

Due to the great response we once again teamed up with the ‘International Reggae Poster Contest′. The 2016 calendar features 12 magnificent and contest winning poster artworks by graphic designers from all over the world.

Cover Infopage January February March April

May June July August September October

November December

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High quality calendar, 14 pages (size: DIN A3) offset-printed. Carefully shrink-wrapped in transparent foil and delivered in special cardboard-box to protect and ensure secure shipment!

Make sure to order your copies from early! The limited edition gained fans from all over the world and turned into a collectors-item already…

So do not wait with your order and secure your first Christmas gift(s) from early – before the year to year hustle starts and this offer is gone!

Big Up & Thanks to the International Reggae Poster Contest and all the graphic designers who contributed their stunning artworks free of costs towards the good cause! The 2016 HELP Jamaica! Charity Calendar would not have been possible without the generous encouragement and support of all these people! Thanks a lot!

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HELP Jamaica! and Rotary Club joining forces to spread free CXC classes all over Jamaica.

// October 13th, 2015 // 1 Comment » // News

rotary_tile One of the most popular offers at the Center are the daily CSEC-CXC Preparation Courses in the evenings, with more than 243 adults enrolled presently; studying Mathematics, English and Social Studies. CXC (Carribean Examination Council) certificates open a wide field of job opportunities as it is a Caribbean wide accepted examination.

The popularity and overcrowding of our free CXC preparation classes for adults and students at the Center verifies the high demand and necessity of these courses in inner-city communities.

That is why we are now trying to give the opportunity to more and more communities across Jamaica.

This is a milestone for HELP Jamaica! as we always wanted to spread free educational programs into communities all over the island and not only serve for one community and its surrounding.

springvillage
With the support of the Rotary Club of Palatine, Illinois (USA) as a generous donor we made a first step in September 2015 and started to offer CXC preparation classes in the community of Bushy Park, St. Catherine. 

We partnered with the Spring Village Development Foundation as the local host for the daily courses. More than 200 (!) persons signed in for the English and Math Classes in Spring Village. Due to the high number of enrollment – classes were divided into basic and advanced level and waiting lists for next classes to start in the future are already opened.

Just as in Cassava Piece at our own Education Center, the high demand and popularity of these educational programs is just overwhelming and testifies to the urgent needs.

 
With more supporters to join the initiative we are aiming to spread free CXC preparation classes island wide!

If you want to support your community with free CXC courses – get in touch with us.

 

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Jam-packed Orientation Day 2015

// October 13th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

orientation_square On Monday September 7th we held our Orientation Day at the HELP Jamaica! Education Center in Cassava Piece for the new school term starting.

It was very well attended with people standing in all corners, as it is the chance to get enrolled in the different CXC preparation courses and the Basic Computer Training Courses (HEART certified).

See the many lists with persons who whish to enroll in the different programs and you’ll understand the high demand and importance of our free CXC program and the Computer Courses!

orientation_2015

 

Once again we have to big up our volunteer teachers, without their dedicated work each and every day – we couldn’t run the adult education program at our Center!

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Impressive CXC Examination results

// October 12th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

August 2015 CXC_results

First of all we have to big up all our Volunteer Teachers for their dedicated work at the Center, without them we could not offer our daily CXC preparation (Carribean Examinations Council) courses for students and adults!

It is only because of these dedicated persons and their tireless teaching efforts that we are able to congratulate 21 persons from our free CXC preparation courses who passed their CXC Examinations in 27 subjects (some did more than one subject!).

WELL DONE!

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The Festival Season 2015

// October 12th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

summerjam2015

The Festival Season started with the Summerjam Festival in Cologne – we give thanks for the support over the past years. Once more the Festival was collecting for HELP Jamaica! at the guestlist and donated the amount of 1425,65 EUR.

reggaejam2015 The next Festival was the Reggae Jam Festival in Bersenbrueck which not only collected at the guestlist as usual and donated 1385,91 EUR, but gave us the chance to collect deposit cups and organise a very successful tombola/raffle on the mainstage. This year the Reggae Jam also helped us to raise awareness by having a new ‘HELP Jamaica! Beach Club’ area in front of the dancehall-tent. Unfortunately the Festival was hit and interrupted by a major storm this year, causing the new area to shut down from Saturday morning due to security issues – but the HELP Jamaica! team and our info-tent survived the storm and apart from the weather it was another great weekend full of family vibes.

 
geel2015 With the Festival Season being in full swing, just the following weekend it was the Reggae Geel Festival.
Reggae Geel is the biggest and one of the oldest Reggae Festival in Europe (founded 1978!) and a strong HELP Jamaica! supporter for the last two years!  We set up our info-tent and spreaded our banners and posters all over the place! Backstage, Front Stage, Dancehall Tent. Chairman and Co-Founder Hilmar Keding did a interview on stage, explaining the project and raising awareness for HELP Jamaica!

geel2015_2 The Festival collected at the guestlist and gave us percentage of the selling of the Marley’s Mellow Mood Drinks on the Festival ground on top, donating a very generous overall sum of 4500,- EUR towards HELP Jamaica! Big Up, absolutely great Festival, full of vibes and support! We already counting days, looking forward to next years staging!

Million thanks from the HELP Jamaica! team to all three Festivals. We could not do the work in Kingston without strong and dedicated supporters like you!

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Summer 2015 (long overdue update)

// October 12th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

Sorry for not keeping the site updated during the summer, but our (very) small team is working busy all the time. We do not sleep, but we hardly find time to do the necessary updates on the website to put our work on display.

Please keep in mind HELP Jamaica! is only a few persons strong – small but dedicated. We do our very best and feel the project is coming along very succesful and effective, but we do apologize same time for making priorities which are causing the very few website updates. 

Follow us on Facebook (for more frequently updates) and Instagram (for more pictures)

So with that being explained, let me just summarize some of the highlights and happenings at HELP Jamaicat during the Summer Season 2015 with a few words and pictures.

Nesbeth On Friday May 29th the last day of ‘Child Month’ we welcomed recording artist Nesbeth on his ‘Each One Reach One’ Youth Tour to the Center to entertain and uplift the children.

craft_workshop On June 3rd we held a Craft Workshop at the Education Center in cooperation with the Jamaican Tourist Board and the Social Development Commission (SDC). We had about 30 Persons from the community attending and learning a new skill – how to make jewellery, earrings etc. out of coconut shells.

gsat June is always GSAT time (Grade Six Achievement Test). We were able to congratulate 12 children who passed their GSAT test successfully! The photo shows four of them wearing a proud smile! Congrats!

Before the Summer School Program started we celebrated the last day of the school term with ice cream and our friend the clown to put some smile (and colour) on the childrens faces. They joy was great and the children even got more excited when they were suprised by recording artist Marcia Griffith joining the afternoon to give away school bags for the children.

marcia

 

During our daily Summer School program in the months of July & August we made a visit to the CVSS Games at the University of the West Indies UWI were the children took part in the various competitions, winning medals, new friends and enjoying a bus trip out of the normal day to day routine. In one word: Excitement.

cvss_games2015 singing_songwriting_square-Kopie

 

 

 

 

 

At the Center we offered various activities such as a First Aid Workshop, Drumming- Singing- and Songwriting Workshops, Art & Craft Workshop, Quizzes, Ring Games, Football and much more.

summer_school1 summer_school2

 

Thanks to all supporters who donated towards our crowdfunding-fundraiser and made the Summer School program possible!

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Crowdfunding Campaign for our Summer School Program

// May 27th, 2015 // No Comments » // News

crowdfunding_indiegogo-kopie4 Since last years crowdfunding campaign on the popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo was a success and helped us to offer the children some exciting activities and workshops during the 2 month duration of our Summer School Program 2014, we want to try it again and did set up a new campaign for 2015.

Big up and thanks in the name of all the benefiting children and the entire HELP Jamaica! Team to all who donated towards last years campaign and made it possible – we hope you will consider to support this years campaign again!

During the summer vacations there are not many opportunities for the children of inner city communities to take part in exciting and recreational activities due to lack of funds or options. In the last three years we therefore founded our ‘Summer School’ program where we offer possibilities for the children and youths to enjoy some exciting pursuits. While during the school terms our focus is mainly on educational programs and homework tutoring, the emphasis during the holidays is on handcraft, sports, fun and games as well as musical activities.

See all details about the project, its aims and goals and the offered program we seek to finance on Indiegogo’s website.

fun music sports

 

If everybody gives a little we will be able to ensure that the children can spend another exciting summer in our center.

Please make a donation and share this post. As they say in Jamaica “One one cocoa full basket” – every little bit helps.
Your support is very much appreciated!

Even if you can’t spare a dime – you could still help us if you spread the link to our crowdfunding campaign amongst your friends in your social media channels.  Please support us in our work according to our motto: Education for a Change!

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