History

The registered non-profit organization HELP Jamaica! e.V. was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2008. We started out to raise funds to support education initiatives in most needy areas of Kingston, like one Reading Center in Trenchtown. Encouraged by the success with which our fundraising effort was met in Europe, the vision of establishing our own Education Center and maybe even more similar facilities in the future developed.

In March 2009, we founded and registered a local branch of HELP Jamaica! in Kingston, Jamaica. This non-profit organization directs and guides the implementation of our activities in Jamaica and is involved in fundraising activities to guarantee the success and sustainability of our projects.

Together with members of the community of Cassava Piece, we started to develop plans for an Education Center in the violence and poverty-ridden community in Kingston 8. http://www.helpjamaica.org/projects/help-jamaica-center/

We chose a suitable spot in the community and succeeded in being granted a 10-year land lease for an unused and derelict building that was known as the ‘Old Clinic’ and was destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Together with volunteers from the community and facilitated by our international fundraising activities as well as a generous grant from the German Embassy in Kingston, we renovated and refurbished the building, started street work in Cassava Piece and finally reached our goal.

In February 2011, we opened the doors of the Education Center in Cassava Piece for the general public. The Center today employs a manager, a caretaker and a team of education assistants from the community. Volunteers from Jamaica and abroad joined to strengthen the team and to facilitate the daily operation of the Education Center, which today caters to an average of 80 children daily and offers adult classes in the evenings.

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