Board Of Directors
Board Of Directors / HELP Jamaica! e.V. (Germany)
Birte Timm – 1st Chairwoman and Founder
Birte Timm has studied history, philosophy, and educational sciences in Hamburg, Germany. She has put a focus on Caribbean History, African American History and currently completes her PhD in Berlin about the Jamaican decolonization movement. Her passion for Jamaican music, and in fact the whole culture, has aroused her interest in the country, which has not loosened its grip on her since she first set foot on the island. While doing her research she was living in Kingston for several lengthy stays and was a visiting fellow at the Department of History at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She has lived in middle class neighborhoods, as well as in Cassava Piece and developed great friendships in all quarters of society. From the vantage point of a foreigner she was able to identify some of the missing factors in the lives of the people in the least developed communities. Her deep love for the children and youths and the talent and latent potential she saw especially in these citizens have motivated her to embark on the mission to develop projects which provide free access to educational opportunities, information technology, homework assistance, and facilitate creative and cultural expressions. From her unique position she has been able to pull the two Jamaica’s – uptown and downtown – together to Help Establish Library Projects. She has also been able to garner much support through her international connections in the reggae community and the Jamaican diaspora to form a strong and dependable web of supporters.
HELP Jamaica! is the consistent combination of her interests, her skills and qualities that she has pledged to use to the ‘increase in beauty’ of Jamaica.
Hilmar Keding – 2nd Chairman and Founder
Hilmar Keding has studied marketing and human resource management in Berlin, Germany. He sharpened his marketing expertise while employments at the Tempodrom, a famous Berlin Event Location in the Marketing & Sales department, a construction material franchise chain and later as associate partner at YARD Gear, a German fashion label with focus on Caribbean culture. Between 2001 and 2007 he was responsible for www.dancehall-tapes.de – a website offering mixes and live tapes and CD’s from Dancehall parties and soundsytem clashes from all over the world.
He is playing reggae music in clubs since 1995 and played on different sounds over the years, right now as selector of Germany’s veteran sound SoundQuake. With the sound, he is touring through Europe regular and gained a lot of contacts in the international reggae fraternity (that are now very useful for HELP Jamaica!). He organized & promoted a lot events, from small club events to big promotional company events, artist tours and medium sized Festivals.
While several stays in Kingston and the Caribbean he recognized the great need of inner-city projects that provide opportunities of free education and access to books and computers as well as sports and games. Together with Birte Timm he started to support the Trench Town Reading Centre financially, with different fundraisers, later the both decided to start saving funds to establish similar Libraries/Education Centers in other deprived inner-city areas in Kingston. Consequently, they founded non- profit associations in Germany and later in Jamaica. He is delighted to be part of a positive effort to inspire a change in the life of young people growing up in the inner-cities and is dedicating all his energies to realise that goal.
Kai Eckold – Director
Janika Takats – Director
Amely Riley – Treasurer
Board Of Directors / Help Establish Library Projects in Jamaica! Limited (Jamaica)
Birte Timm – Chairwoman
Dr. Birte Timm studied history, philosophy, and educational sciences at the University of Hamburg, Germany. She earned her PhD in History at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin with a thesis about the Jamaica Progressive League and the transnational roots of nationalism in Jamaica. From 2012 to 2013, she was a visiting post-doctoral fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Kingston Jamaica. Between 2013 and 2015 she was a Marie Curie Fellow in the Gerda-Henkel-Foundations’ M4HUMAN Program, at the Department of History and Archaeology, University of the West Indies, Mona, looking at Jamaica’s National Heroes and identify politics in post-colonial Jamaica. Her passion for Jamaican music and culture resulted in historical and sociological research, during which she went back and forth between Germany and Jamaica. She saw the struggle of children and youth and recognized their talents, creativity and potential, which inspired her to establish HELP Jamaica!, together with her German colleagues.
Judith Wedderburn – Director
Mrs. Judith Wedderburn, is currently the Project Director of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung FES (since 1995), with responsibility for Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean. Her main responsibilities involve the design and development of education programmes which seek to address current economic, social and political issues against the background of regular analyses of the global, regional and national. She also sits on other Boards.
Paul Cole – Director / Treasurer
Mr. Paul Cole has over twenty-four years of increasing responsibility within the accounting and management consulting professions, in the United Kingdom (UK) and Jamaica. Originally trained as an auditor in the UK, he subsequently enhanced his skills by training as a management accountant and, then as a management consultant in the UK. Strong strategic planning and management accounting skills, including business development, budgeting and project management. Moved into management consulting and carried out a wide range of assignments. These include strategic business planning, profit improvement reviews, business valuations and management audits. Noted for good communication, planning and leadership skills. He also sits as Treasurer/ Director on other Boards.
Julliett D. Mair Rose – Director
Mrs. Mair Rose (Attorney At Law) manages her own law practice in Kingston, Jamaica and represents as counsel at law for Riam Esor & Company New York, U.S.A. She is now the legal representative on the HELP Jamaica! Board locally, and previously worked with the Government of Jamaica.
Kauna McKenzie – Director
As a Field Supervisor of The Social Development Commission and trained teacher she has been an Advisor and Representative of the HELP Jamaica! organization since inception. She also represents in other Board of Directors for other social organizations.
Michael Skyers – Director
Mr. Skyers is a Businessman and Manager at the Constant Spring Golf Course, St Andrew. He represents our local Board of Directors and represents the members of communities associated with HELP Jamaica! He is the coordinator for all community activities and a member since the inception of the organization.
Damion Crawford – Accountant
Mr. Crawford works with the Council of Voluntary Social Services and The United Way of Jamaica as an accountant for the past 10 years. He is involved with over 250 charitable organizations, as a verifier of their accounting practices.
Virginia Chin – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)