My Writings. My Thoughts.

Raising Awarness Part 2

// July 11th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

mikey_general_2 We want to express our gratitude towards our friends from the EDB Family who help us to encourage the children, and at the same time raise awareness for our work in Cassava Piece by visiting us regularly and bringing various artists to the Center.

On Wednesday May 14th recording artist Mikey General visited the Center to sing and interact with the children. The kids who were excited, gathered on the lawn to listen to some uplifting and encouraging words by the singer. It was a wonderful experience for the kids and a great afternoon. mikey_general_4

 

Just two weeks before Mikey General’s visit, artists and musicians Exile Di Brave, Kazam, and Dr. Althea Neblett visited the Center to share an afternoon with music and joy to foster creativity and unity. The children enjoyed both performances as well as explored the instruments themselves under professional supervision. It was a joyful jam session with everybody singing, jamming and playing different musical instruments on the front lawn of the Center.

 Exile Di Brave & Kazam at the Center

 

Check out this new song by Exile Di Brave and the wonderful video showing scenes from our Education Center in Cassava Piece! Give thanks for the support given by the EDB family!!!

Exile Di Brave – HUNGRY Official Music Video

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Raising Awarness Part 1

// July 10th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

Big up our media partner Reggaeville for another free full-page advertisement in the latest Festiville Magazin!

Download the magazine as pdf to get all info for the 2014 Festival Season and while you are at it – have a look at page 129.

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Easter 2014

// July 10th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

Miss Birdie Easter Bun The children together with Ms. Mason prepared for this year’s Easter celebration, and were creating Easter Bunny Baskets and colourful butterflies for decoration.

Our team members prepared a paper chase (Treasure Hunt) for the children’s enjoyment and the traditional Easter Bun was donated by Mr. Brandon Chang of The Purity Bakery at Valentine Drive, Kingston 19.

The team served the generously donated ‘Miss Birdie – Purity Buns together with the traditional cheese to the children before the Easter holidays. Thanks to our dedicated volunteer teachers for the daily CXC-preparation courses  which were held over the Easter break, in the evenings.  The Center was closed to all other activities over the Easter holidays.

Easter 2014

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Flashback: A short review of the past year

// April 16th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

Following you’ll find a short review about the progress and achievements at the HELP Jamaica! Education Center in Cassava Piece during 2013. We reached a level of success that we never dreamed of when we opened the Center in  February 2011 . Be a part of the positive changes by supporting HELP Jamaica! with a donation or a sustainable membership!

Flashback:

grouppicture We look back at a very successful year 2013. After three years in operation, we can proudly look at the number 850 registered users from the surrounding communities.  We now welcome 100 children on an average day during the afternoon; and another 50-100 teenagers and adults taking part in the various educational offers within the morning and early evening hours.

 

The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) preparation courses for the adults (A Caribbean wide accepted Certification and Certificate Course) in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Spanish and Computer classes are offered by local volunteers free of cost. These volunteers are professional teachers and social workers from the community, who are officially approved and give their time free of cost, to help other people from their community.

adult_cxc The HELP Jamaica! Center’s Adult Education Program is where we recorded the most significant successes over the past year.

We are the only facility, who offer these CXC preparation courses free of charge (at least we are not aware of any other facilities, that offers these programs free of charges).

We now have over 100 participants per course (2013). In 2012, the number of participants was about 30-40 persons for each subject.

With the increase in numbers for our classes, we had to separate the classes in two in order to accommodate the participants and seek additional space next-door in the neighboring school to facilitate the over-crowding at our center.

The certificates gained by participants; studying for these subjects, are most praiseworthy. In 2012 we congratulated 25 participants on gaining successful CXC certification, and we are sure that these numbers will increase in 2014.

At this point we are proudly referring to our Motto: Education for a Change!  Bringing it positive and directly into action.

computer_courses Furthermore we received a generous donation of a complete Computer-Lab (IT-Unit) from the ‘Universal Service Fund’ (Governmental Agency) at the end of the year. The donation Included 16 Computers, a professional printer, network-technology and furnishings.  The official opening of the IT-Unit, took place during the course of our 5th Year Celebration of HELP Jamaica! in Jamaica, February 2014.

 

These computers are already in use to benefit the community, as we now offer two computer courses daily (for beginners and at an advanced level). Successful certified participants of these courses get the opportunity of direct entry to the job-market through the HEART Trust NTA and further recommendation (to call-centers etc.).

The opening hours of the center have also been extended, with the development and steady growing offers and increasing numbers of visitors.  The Center now opens from 9:00 a.m. in the mornings until 8:00 p.m. in the evenings, five days per week to offer our wide range of educational programs.

basket-weaving Furthermore, we were able to extend our Summer School program during the school vacation period, in comparison to previous years considerably. Our team, together with some of the registered children of the center did several excursions in a hired bus with up to 40 children to places of national interest. In addition, we included the very popular sign-language, basket weaving and many other handcrafts and sport offers to our programs.

In April 2013, Tiina Palm, a supporter from Finland conducted a very successful four-day photo-workshop with persons from the Cassava Piece community in cooperation with HELP Jamaica! and the (Social Development Commission (SDC). Most of the participants never held a camera in their hands before. A selection of the pictures taken, were later published in the RIDDIM magazine (Issue 06-2013).

The development of our Educational Center and the offers on the spot; have advanced more than we had projected and exceeded our expectations for last year.  This would not have been possible without the help of our supporters and their donations.

At our opening in February 2011, we started with only one employee. Today we engage 8 permanent team members daily and are thankful for the support of more than 10 volunteers from the community; some of those are present at the center every day.

Due to the great acceptance of our offered programs and the steady increasing numbers of daily guests; we were forced to increase our team compliment, and to build a second ‘classroom’ on the premises (in 2012). Of course these measures and steady expansions of the offered programs also lead to increasing costs. That is why our center budget for the past year (2013) raised up to an overall amount of 56.000,- EUR.

funtime Again, many thanks to all our supporters! This phenomenal development of the project would not have been possible without their help!

To safeguard our daily operations; and the creation of jobs in the long run, we look forward to a continuous support in the future.

Our work is funded by more than 80 per cent from donations. The remaining 20% are coming from the sales of our charity products, such as the calendars and our t-shirts.

Please help us with your donation, to maintain what we have achieved so far and to make sure we can continue to work accordingly to our Motto:  Education For A Change!

If you have any questions or wish a personal contact, please do not hesitate to contact us at: info@helpjamaica.org

Link us at Facebook at www.facebook.com/helpjamaica – and drop a ‘like’ to stay informed!

Forward ever, backward never – we continue our local work at the Center and our fundraising activities in Germany/Europe.

 

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Please support us and become a Sustaining Member!

// April 16th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

center_panorama_web

 

Please support our effective work in the Cassava Piece community and help us to maintain the achieved program with the various educational courses for young and old.

The daily homework-care for the children and adult courses (CXC-Preparation) in English, Math, Social Studies, the daily computer courses as well as all the various art & craft offerings, the drama group, the email friendship project with Finland, the various sport & outside activities, the parenting & counseling sessions, the different workshops, the summer program with bus trips to places of national interest etc. – all this is keeping our budget for the center constantly rising over the last three years. We need your support to make sure we can maintain all these achievements!

Keep in mind we started with only 1 employee and opening hours from 2pm-6pm in 2011, today we have a team of 8 persons plus local volunteers and opening hours from 9am-8pm!!!

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A sustaining membership is the easiest and most effective way to support us.

Your sustaining membership contribution is tax deductible and can be canceled at any time.

The suggested contribution is either 10,- / 20,- / 40,- € each quarter of the year, but of course you can choose any amount, in any currency.

Download the Sustaining Membership Application, complete it, sign it, and send it to us

via email,  fax – +49 (0) 3212 / 327 57 89 – or postal mail.

EDUCATION FOR A CHANGE!

 

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Our Computer Courses are now officially certified!

// April 16th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

Some more good news! The HELP Jamaica! Education Center was certified in late February and is now qualified to offer Data Operations Courses.

computer_courses

 

Certification was done by the Heart Trust NTA and the NCTVET Center. Which will now allow persons within our communities to be taught Data Operations and to achieve qualification and certification to work within the Commonwealth Countries and elsewhere within Caricom and Jamaica.

In other words: The Heart Trust can now recommend those who successfully pass our computer courses to an international job market!! Another plus and a next milestone for our Center.

We offer daily computer courses for adults and students in the morning hours at the Center (basic and advanced level).

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Strengthening the German-Jamaican link!

// April 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

  winnie_schaefer

The HELP Jamaica! Team met ‘Winnie’ Schäfer, headcoach of the Reggae Boyz (the Jamaican National Football Team) in Kingston. He accepted our invitation to visit the Center,  and we hope that we are able to welcome him on our premises very soon.

german_jamaican_link

Strengthening the German-Jamaican link for the common effort:

Education For A Change!

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Photography For A Change!

// April 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

The Story Of A Photography Workshop in Kingston, Jamaica

The four-day workshop which was held last year April (2013) was organized and conducted by Tiina Palm a supporter from Finland with the help of Gavin Myers of the SDC (Social Development Commission) and HELP Jamaica! with participants from Cassava Piece who ‘never’ really used a camera before.

Thanks to Tiina for a great workshop, which is hopefuly to be continued and all the participants who really took some stunning pics. Check them out!

 

Photography For A Change! Workshop Magazin /April 2013

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I SCREAM

// April 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

i_scream1web

The day after we kept our big 5th Anniversary Celebration and the official opening of our IT-lab (which was an event more likely for adults) we served some ice-cream for the children and expanded our anniversary celebration to a second day.

 

We had some friends/guests at the Center who helped our team members to put bright smiles on a lot of faces by serving the ice cream cones.

i_scream2web   i_scream4web i_scream3web

 

 

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Celebrating our 5th Anniversary and official opening of our IT-Unit

// February 27th, 2014 // No Comments » // News

The Invitation

HELP Jamaica! celebrated the significant milestone of five years of service in Jamaica with the launch of the Information Technology Unit at HELP Jamaica Center, in Kingston.

The Center in the innercity community of Cassava Piece was established under the Help Establish Library Projects in Jamaica Ltd., founded by Hilmar Keding and Birte Timm five years ago.  With the theme, “Education For A Change“, the two German nationals in collaboration with residents in Cassava Piece and assistance from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Jamaica and local and international volunteers, established the Center which has offered free education programmes including homework classes for children and CXC classes for adults from Cassava Piece and surrounding areas.

On February 12, 2014, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining launched the IT-Unit at the Center with computers donated by the Government of Jamaica’s Universal Service Fund in association with the Social Development Commission (SDC).

The IT Unit will facilitate expanded computer literacy programmes for the over 120 children and 100 adults who currently attend classes at the Center.

Addressing the launch, the two founders thanked the residents of Cassava Piece for “sharing the vision and coming together to make it a reality.”

Guest are entering the premises   The German Ambassador Josef Beck in conversation with Founders Birte Timm & Hilmar Keding Recording artist Macia Griffith with Birte Timm, Minister Paulwell and represantatives of the SDC and National Waste Agency

 

 

 

They recalled the “old clinic” that has now been transformed into a “Center of learning” and the many residents who “helped to clean up the premises even before reconstruction and refurbishing began.”

The Center which begun with 1 employee, a few computers and books and 20 students when openend 3 years ago, today serves over 120 children per day with 8 employees, and six volunteer teachers. There are also adult education classes which prepare students to sit in Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations. Mr. Keding noted that in 2012 there were 40 persons in the CXC classes at average and this year the number has exceeded 100 for each of the offered subjects (Math, English and Social Studies).

The ceremony was attended by 150 persons, including a lot of prominent guests and longtime partners and supporters.  After the blessings by Pastor Wisdom, the function started with greetings by Mrs. Virginia Chin the CEO of the Education Center, Ms. Birte Timm as the Co-Founder, Mrs. Wiggins a represantative of the neighbouring School as well as Mr. Michael ‘Muta’ Skyers as Member of the Board of Directors, H.E. Josef Beck the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Jamaica who addressed the support on various occassions that the Embassy gave HELP Jamaica! over last 5 years. Hilmar Keding (Co-Founder of HELP Jamaica!) took the audience on a ‘Journey’ through the years 2008-2014 from how it started as an idea of a rather small center, focusing mainly on younger children to what the Centrer is offering today: a full scheduled program, opening hours from 9am-9pm, adult education (CXC), Summer School, Workshops with International Volunteers and a lot more.

Front table getting ready to start the ceremony   Mrs. Virginia Chin the CEO of the HELP Jamaica! Education Center hosting the ceremony Co-Founder Hilmar Keding giving a summary of the 'HELP Jamaica! Journey' during 2008-2014

 

 

 

 Mr. Hugh Cross the head of the ‘Universal Service Fund’ declared why HELP Jamaica! was chosen as one of the organizations to get 16 computers and additional IT-equipment by the Jamaican Government and handed over to the main speaker of the day the Hon. Phillip Paulwell Minister of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining who was addressing how the use of Information Technology and computers can empower single persons but also whole communities. Mr. Otto McLeod our Computer expert at the Center expressed his gratitude for the donated equipment and assured the intense use of it within his daily offered (basic and advanced level) Computer Classes at the Center.

The Ceremony was closed by students of the HELP Jamaica! Center who performed sign language, before the IT-Unit was offically opened by a ribbon cut.

The ribbon cut opens the IT-Unit officially   Hon. Phillip Paulwell having a look at the new computers at the IT Unit The children proudly showcasing their craft works to Minister Paulwell

Baskets which the children produced with Mr. Darling during the basketry courses   These children from the Education Center were doing the 'sign language' presentation Recording Artist Phenomden from Switzerland in conversation with the RIDDIM Magazin editorial staff (Ellen & Pete)

 

 

 

 

 

 At the same time we used the occasion with all these prominent guests, to launch a ‘Corporate Initiative’ where we seek strong coporate partners to look at the Center as a blueprint and support our vision to spread the educational offers to other innercity communities.

True to our Motto: Education For A Change!

Corporate Initiative flyer

 

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