President’s Remarks

Dear Friends & Supporters

Thank you so much for your generosity this past year. It is you, the Friends of Jamaica who care, who share, who give that enable the work that our grantee partners do in communities across Jamaica. You enable them to operate clinics for the working poor, provide counseling for the sexually abused, conflict resolution skills for troubled youth and afterschool programs in places that are safe when much of their world feels like it is not.

The AFJ focuses its work on programs that make an impact in the fields of education, healthcare & economic development. Recently, we made a strategic decision to include quality early childhood development programs as a specific sector of our focus. As Yale Professor Perez-Escamilla put it “if you want to grow your economy and uplift your people, put money into early childhood development.” (full article here) . New grantees this year in the sector included Fight for Peace for an early childhood reading and creative play program in 6 inner city Kingston communities and a parenting program with Dudley Grant Memorial Trust.

Every day we are excited to see the positive outcomes that these programs achieve. There are many reasons we give to charity: to help the needy, to support institutions we value and also because as Bill Gates said, “I see foreign aid that is spent wisely as being a smart thing.” We take seriously the responsibility of spending your donations wisely and we hope you will continue to support us and thereby support Jamaica.

Our accomplishments for the year have been lead by our Executive Director, Caron Chung and her small but hardworking team and the support of a wonderful, generous Board of Directors who care passionately about the country and the people of Jamaica.

We hope you will be able to join us in New York at our Hummingbird Gala on October 23, 2017 as we honor Mr. Joseph M. Matalon, Mr Vincent HoSang and Mr. Cecil Sam Wright, extraordinarily accomplished and philanthropic Jamaicans.

One Love

Wendy Hart

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