Teen ‘Soars’ to the Top with Winning Speech in Child Month Competition

Rose Miller (left), grants manager, JN Foundation presents a laptop to Dayna Denton, winner in the 13 to 17 year-old age category of the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) ‘Pickney Party’ performing arts competition, to culminate the celebration of Child Month in May. The presentation was made during an event at the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston on Friday, June 11. Dayna, a student at the Lister Mair/ Gilby High School for the Deaf, won for her entry of the speech ‘I SOAR,’ celebrating the theme for this year’s Child Month. She also received for her winning entry tokens from Sagicor, a Sangster’s gift voucher valued at $10,000, and a meal voucher from Burger King. The Pickney Party competition is in its second staging and received more than 50 entries from across the country this year. Nine entries were awarded first to third place in three age categories, ranging six to 17 years-old. The JN Group is a key partner of the NCMC.

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Build it and Water Will Come? No Way, says Water Experts

Over the past three decades or more, the quote “If you build it, they will come,” an excerpt from the novel Shoeless Joe, popularised by the movie, ‘Field of Dreams’, starring Kevin Costner, has become an important springboard for planners, engineers and experts, exploring planning issues and concepts, when dissecting the impact of development on people and their environment.

At the recently concluded JN Foundation Water Summit, a coined version of the adage became a focal point for discussion by a panel of water sector experts, chaired by Dr Parris Lyew Ayee, managing director of the Mona GeoInfomatics Institute, which explored the question: ‘Build it and Water Will Come?: Water Availability and Urban Planning.’ There was unanimous disagreement.

Mark Barnett, president, National Water Commission

“Where water is, is often where people reside, but if you check in our situation it is not necessarily so,” president of the state-owned National Water Commission (NWC), Mark Barnett, opened arguments, as he made the case for water and sewerage to be integrally accommodated in the planning process.

The majority of the country’s water supply is located to its north, yet the majority of its population and major development takes place on its southern belt. This is unlike other countries, Mr Barnett pointed out, where major cities and settlements tend to be built around large supplies of available fresh water.

Water threat for KSA, St Catherine

Peter Clarke, managing director, Water Resources Authority

The practice to build far from water sources, is creating an ominous situation for some densely populated areas of Jamaica, managing director of the Water Resources Authority, Peter Clarke pointed out, as projected demand in the country’s two most populous areas- St Catherine and the Corporate Area, which comprises the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew- is outstripping the supply available from exploitable potential water resources.

The NWC supplies around 124,000 people in the Corporate Area alone, which is 98 per cent of the capital, producing some 45 imperial gallons of water per person daily to satisfy demand. In layman’s terms that’s about 54 gallons per person every day.

Adding Clarendon to St Catherine and the Corporate Area, Mr Clarke underscored that the development taking place in these parishes alone, accounted for 43 per cent of approved developments over the 10-year period 2011 to 2021.

“And at the same time regarding water balance and where water is, what we can see in this same southern belt is… the demand is outstripping the potential and this is an indication that we have to be careful when we decide to build, because we have to plan and we have to recognise that we do have challenges,” he argued.

He stressed: “I would say upfront that we don’t build it and hope that the water will come… It’s an integral part of the overall process in planning for the water, because water is the sustenance of the overall development.”   

Pointing to the expansion of towns, such as Mandeville and the Corporate Area, which he said had both outgrown what was planned for them in respect of water demand, Mr Clarke underscored that urbanisation inherently stresses water resources, by nature of their density, waste management practices, and use of land and, therefore, at the very core, prior to embarking on any development, how water will be supplied must be considered..

“When you’re considering expansion then it means that you’re going to have to consider the basics of how to keep people healthy; the basic thing that’s probably going to keep people alive- which is water,” he said.

With climate change added to the context, the water resources engineer said the demand and supply gap could be widened in the future. Showing a map of projections for water resources up to 2080, he emphasised that it’s not impossible for Jamaica to move from its current position of surplus to a deficit.

“And if we have water deficit, it means that we have to use alternative methods of producing our water,” he said.

Reusing waste water (grey water and treated effluent); capturing storm water runoff and desalinisation were other possible initiatives he pointed to that could help mitigate the depletion of resources, although these solutions are not full proof.

Anthony McKenzie, director, Environmental and Conservation Division, National Environment and Planning Agency

These were points endorsed by fellow panellist, Anthony McKenzie, director of the Environmental and Conservation Division at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), who said there is a need to strengthen policies that encourage the reuse of treated wastewater.

“The wastewater and sewage regulations provide an incentive for the beneficial use of wastewater, so when we apply wastewater discharge fees, it is discounted significantly when there is a beneficial reuse of that,” he noted, pointing out that this is also included in the Water Sector Policy.

Non-revenue water-a critical challenge

Rainwater harvesting; artificially recharging aquifers (water-bearing rocks), and reducing energy consumption in the water sector, are other ways to mitigate resource depletion and to help reduce the cost to supply, Mr Clarke said.

“The NWC is the biggest client of the Jamaica Public Service, so if we can move more to solar and use photovoltaic systems and put more solar pumps in, we can help to manage that,” he posited.

O’Reilly Lewis, division chief of the Economic Infrastructure Division, Caribbean Development Bank

The state of non-revenue water (water which is accessed, but not paid for by consumers, or wasted through leakages) also affects energy usage and the cost to supply the commodity, division chief of the Economic Infrastructure Division at the Caribbean Development Bank, O’Reilly Lewis said. And it’s not merely a Jamaica problem.

“Non-revenue water is unacceptably high in most of our Caribbean countries,” he said. “We are talking upwards of 50 per cent in many of our countries and that has a link to energy usage. In many of our countries the highest user is our water utility service provider and [the] operational efficiency of [the] service provider I think is something we need to focus on,” he said.   

Mr Barnett acknowledged that non-revenue water is the commission’s greatest challenge, accounting for up to 70 per cent of its supply, and costing the NWC some $6.7 billion annually. He said it needs to be tackled in order to improve efficiency and drive down the company’s energy costs. The NWC hopes to reduce non-revenue water down to 30 per cent by 2025.

“It is a no-brainer that to satisfy the build it and water [will come] arrangement, you have to make your network efficient all the time,” he said, highlighting that there is sufficient supply of water in Jamaica, but still stressing that planning is necessary to ensure sustainability.

Without the necessary planning, Lewis said countries like Jamaica will consistently be “behind the eight ball.”

“If you are not planning, you’re reacting. And when you’re reacting your behind,” he said.   

The JN Foundation Water Summit is targeted at ensuring housing developed by government and its agencies are climate resilient and fitted with necessary water conservation devices. It also calls for the ratification of the Draft Housing Policy in this regard to support climate resilient housing.

Persons can visit the JN Foundation YouTube page to watch the summit.

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Jamaica’s Water Problems Need a Collaborative Approach – Says Parris Lyew-Ayee

Parris Lyew-Ayee (centre), chairman of the JN Foundation, makes a point to Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change at the media launch of the Water Summit. Looking on is Claudine Allen, general manager of the JN Foundation.

Parris Lyew-Ayee, Chairman of the JN Foundation, said that the country’s water problems can only be addressed with a collaborative approach, with the input of key stakeholders, at the public and private sector levels.

“Solving this long-standing water problem is not an easy task,” he said. “The government cannot do it alone. That is why we are hosting this special webinar, to bring together in one place: experts, scientists, engineers, hydrogeologists, economists, financiers, policy makers, and social scientists; including many other stakeholders, to not only discuss issues, but to have constructive dialogue and put forward practical solutions, which we will need to grab and put into action,” he explained.

Mr Lyew-Ayee made those suggestions while addressing the JN Foundation Water Summit, which was held virtually on May 13-14, under the theme “Water is Life.”

The JN Foundation Chairman said that the country’s water challenges are unprecedented, which called for decisive actions and proactive approaches to address the issues.

“Our climate adaptation approach must involve the practices of water efficiencies and conservation,” he pointed out, noting that the summit had brought to the table the relevant stakeholders to discuss water related issues.

The geologist also recommended that upcoming housing solutions, constructed by private developers and government agencies, should feature climate resilience and water conservation fittings, as well as systems, at a minimum standard.

He said there should be an urgent ratification of the draft National Housing Policy, specifically in the areas, which aim to support and promote sustainable climate resilience.

The Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, said the government was pursuing solutions to address informal communities, which are vulnerable to climate change.

“My ministry is currently engaged in a comprehensive national survey of these informal settlements, with a view to obtaining information which will allow us to move toward solutions,” he said.

Minister Charles said that, so far, some 25,202 persons were surveyed in more than 219 settlements, which were conducted in the parishes of Clarendon, St Ann, Manchester, Trelawney, Hanover, and St Elizabeth. He also noted that, currently data is being collected in the parishes of St Mary, Portland, and St Thomas.

“That data which is being collected will also inform the Squatter Management Policy, to provide that strategic direction needed to address squatting, with the aim of also addressing the practice and fostering orderly planned development of our land resources,” he said.

The summit was organised by the Water Project Jamaica, which is being administered by the JN Foundation. Some of the other topics discussed included: water availability and housing; policy and water as a commodity; as well as, water security, water availability and urban planning.

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Earl Jarrett Calls for Action to Address Growing Water Needs

The Hon. Earl Jarrett, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Jamaica National Group addressing the Water Summit.

The Hon. Earl Jarrett, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Jamaica National Group, considers that proper planning is needed to meet the country’s water needs, which he said, have been outpacing supply.

“It is inevitable that, without action, the country will not be able to meet its water needs. We must, therefore, find ways to change certain outcomes,” he said, and pointed out that the government has been doing well in wastewater management.

Mr Jarrett made those observations while addressing the JN Foundation’s Water Summit, which was held virtually, May 13-14, under the theme, “Water is Life.”

He said that the country’s water resources were under threat from climate change, development and a growing population. In addition, he pointed out that Jamaica’s water resources also generally cater to the needs of an additional two million persons annually, who visit the island, as tourists.

Mr Jarrett explained that one of the objectives of the Water Project Jamaica, which is being implemented by the JN Foundation and funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, is to engage citizens to become guardians of water resources, by being part of the movement to conserve water.

He said the project’s mandate include educating the Jamaican population to implement water-conservation methods in their homes, with the use of high efficiency toilets and faucets; and to purchase efficient washing machines; as well as, the harvesting of rainwater for domestic use.

The JN Group CEO said the project has also engaged developers to use strategies and techniques in the design and construction of homes, which includes rainwater harvesting and water saving faucets.

Citing other successes of the project, Mr Jarrett noted that householders in nine communities in Kingston & St Andrew, were engaged through a 12-month pilot study, where their homes were retrofitted with water-saving devices, which monitored their usage. He said that the results of the pilot study was astounding.

Some householders, he pointed out, achieved a reduction of up to 42 per cent in their water usage, following the installation of the water-adaptation devices; and the implementation of water-saving measures within their homes, during the past several months.

He informed that a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed earlier this year with the University of Technology, Jamaica, to forge a partnership, which will train more persons in water adaptation, as one of the solutions to address the country’s drought challenges. The partnership will include the development of a course, to certify persons for careers in Water Adaptation and Research, relating to rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

Mr Jarrett commended the JN Foundation for organising the Water Summit, which he said, had brought key stakeholders to the table, to discuss solutions to the country’s water challenges.

The summit was organised by Water Project Jamaica, which is being administered by the JN Foundation.

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JN Foundation Hosts Labour Day Panel Discussion – “From Raising Cane to Remote Work: The Evolution of Work and Labour Laws in Jamaica”

The Hon. Zavia Mayne (left), Minister of State, Ministry of Labour & Social Security makes a point to Jodi-Ann Bowen (right), project officer, at the JN Foundation at the studio recording of the panel discussion. Sharing in the moment are O’Neil Grant (second left) , President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association and veteran trade unionists Danny Roberts.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market, the relevance of the labour laws in place today, and their historical origins are some of the issues to be raised at a Labour Day panel discussion entitled, “From Raising Cane to Remote Work: The evolution of work and labour laws in Jamaica.”

The virtual discussion will be aired on Monday, May 24 on Labour Day, via the JN Foundation’s YouTube Page, at 4:00 p.m.

Claudine Allen, general manager of the JN Foundation, said the event is being organised by the JN Foundation to raise awareness about the genesis of Labour Day in Jamaica; and to highlight the sacrifices of our fore parents made, so that Jamaicans can benefit from the labour laws being enforced today.

“While there is still work to be done, we cannot disagree that the strong advocacy of trade unionists, community leaders, and political representatives has redound to our collective benefit,” Ms. Allen said.

“With the development of labour laws, which nurture productivity and protect the interests of workers, and employers, we are at a point, where that evolution must continue, if we are to make Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” she related.

Jodi-Ann Bowen, project officer, at the JN Foundation, said that the event is being organised by the JN Foundation, through the Parish Histories of Jamaica Project, an initiative of the JN Foundation.

She pointed out that one of the stalwarts of the labour movement in Jamaica, The Hon. Pearnel Charles, Sr. will take viewers on a trip down memory lane; and share some of the historical events, which shaped the Labour Movement in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Dr Sonjah Stanley Niaah, director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies at The UWI, Mona, will moderate the event. The panellists will include the first female Political Ombudsman, the Hon.  Donna Parchment Brown; O’Neil Grant, President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association; and veteran trade unionists: Danny Roberts and Ruddy Thomas. Minister of State, Ministry of Labour & Social Security, The Hon. Zavia Mayne, will also be featured in the programme. 

The Parish Histories of Jamaica is a project being implemented by the JN Foundation. The project is charged to unveil and illustrate the history of the Jamaican people.

Through a collaborative effort with the History and Archaeology Department at The University of the West Indies, Mona, the histories of the parishes are researched and documented. The histories are written for an easy read; and are accompanied by captivating photographs of historical sites. Completed parish histories are housed on the project’s website, www.parishhistoriesofjamaica.org.

To date, the JN Foundation has published the Parish History of seven parishes on the project’s website. These histories include that of Portland, Trelawny, St Mary, St Thomas, St Catherine, St Elizabeth, and St James. The project is now writing the parish history of Kingston and will soon start the history of Hanover.

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Credit Invisibility Is Not Good, Says CEO of Credit Information Services

Michelle Toyloy-Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Credit Information Services Credit Bureau.

Some persons may shy away from credit, but having no credit history may pose a problem, pointed out Michelle Toyloy-Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Credit Information Services Credit Bureau.

“You are called credit invisible when you have no credit history. You may think that it is a good thing being credit invisible; but really it is not, because it makes the process a little more challenging for lenders, if you do not have any history. They have nothing to prove whether you are a good or bad performer. Therefore, even if it is a credit card, it is always good to have a presence on the credit landscape” she informed.

Mrs. Toyloy-Carter gave that advice while addressing a JN Foundation BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Webinar, which was held recently. The objectives of the webinar, which was entitled ‘Ask Me Anything About Money,’ were: to increase awareness about financial matters; assist persons to improve their money management skills; as well as, to discuss how they can navigate financial transactions using technology.

Rose Miller, Grants Manager at the JN Foundation; and Team Lead of the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme, who was one of the panellists at the webinar, advised that a credit card, if used responsibly, can assist in building a person’s credit history.

“Many people are afraid to use credit cards, because they do not understand how to utilize this powerful tool to their advantage. You don’t have to be afraid to use a credit card. What you need to do is use your credit card according to how you have budgeted; and just pay the credit card bill in full, on time, every time,” she advised.

She stated that, if persons were to follow that advice, they would incur neither interest nor any other penalties such as late fees. Mrs Miller also noted that no matter how you start building credit, persons should ensure that they take steps to manage it responsibly.

“That includes paying your bills on time; staying well below your credit limit; only opening new accounts when necessary; and checking your Credit Report regularly,” she advised.

Mrs Toyloy-Carter advised there are three Credit Bureaus in Jamaica, which gather information about consumer’s credit history from a lenders’ database and help to keep both lenders and borrowers on their toes. The three bureaus are: Credit Information Services (CIS Credit Bureau), Creditinfo JamaicaCRIF Information Bureau Jamaica.

She also informed that everyone is entitled to a free Credit Report, annually from each bureau. Persons can request this report by visiting the website of each bureau that are regulated by the  Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) 

All bureaus offer online application via their website (credit.cisjamaica.com) and reports are generally available same day, or within 48 hours.

Your Credit Report will include your personal information, such as: your name, date of birth, TRN, address and employment; as well as, a credit summary of current or past due credit accounts. The summary  includes, payment history, debts accumulated, credit limits, as well as information on  bankruptcy and lawsuits if any.

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JN Foundation to Stage International Water Summit

In support of the government’s vision for a healthier Jamaica, the JN Foundation will be staging an international water summit under the theme, “Water is Life,” spanning a two-day period, May 13-14, 2021.

Claudine Allen, general manager of the JN Foundation, said the summit will take the form of a ‘Phygital’ experience, a combination of both physical and digital activities. She underscored that the event will also be up to par with the standard of UN conferences in respect of its look and feel.

She said that the two-day Climate Change, Sustainability, and Innovation Summit, aims to present climate smart solutions geared to impact residential and/or commercial industries and also provide general solutions to address climate resilience, with a special category focused on water adaptation.

Other aims of the summit are to present businesses that help to solve a climate related challenge and overall, promote increased climate resiliency, particularly in residential industries; energizing and exciting persons who are currently involved in this line of business and/or considering entry.

The summit will also provide specific avenues for women and youth-led climate resiliency businesses, to participate. It will also seek to identify the needs of international stakeholders operating the field of the climate resilience.

It is free and open to everyone and will incorporate speakers both locally and from across the Caribbean, who are experts in their field; and who will provide the well- needed knowledge for attendees.

“The Summit will give participants the flexibility to register online for workshops based on their interest; allow networking – with the opportunity to obtain funding, or capital for their businesses; and showcase water adaptation best practices or technology; as well as, highlight the progress of the entrepreneurs, who have been funded by the JN Foundation,” Cornelia Walters-Jones, project manager of the Water Project, outlined.

The University of Technology, Jamaica, will present some of its latest research. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the university to offer a course in Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Harvesting under its Faculty of the Built Environment. Mrs Walters Jones stated that the key takeaways from the summit will be to foster entrepreneurship in climate resilience; support the uptake of water efficiency measures in the housing sector across Jamaica and to obtain commitment from the government, to maintain focus and action water conservation strategies.

Through its Water Adaptation Project, the JN Foundation has cemented its objectives to bridge the gap between Jamaica’s already limited water supply, due to climate change and population growth, urbanisation, environmental degradation- among other factors- by encouraging the use of water adaptation technologies by developers and householders.

The project, which was launched in 2017, and is a joint collaboration between the JN Bank, the JN Foundation, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is approaching its final stages of completion, but promises to leave a lasting impact on both the environment and the Jamaican people.

For more information about the summit, visit the Water Project’s website, at www.waterprojectja.com.

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Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation

JN Foundation to Host Online Financial Webinars April 27-29

The JN Foundation, through its BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme, will host a series of webinars on financial literacy on April 27- 29.

Rose Miller, grants manager and team lead for the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme, said the webinars will target students at the high and tertiary levels, who are JN scholarship recipients; as well as the parents and guardians of these scholars. Another is also being hosted for members/customers of the JN Group but is also opened to members of the public.

“These sessions have become even more relevant now as we go through the pandemic, now in its second year.  COVD-19 has impacted the lives of everyone socially and emotionally, but by far its greatest impact has arguably been financially. Those who are going to survive are those who are mentally prepared and truly understand money and how money works,” she informed

 Mrs. Miller said the focus of the sessions is to increase awareness about financial matters; assist persons in improving their money management skills; and to discuss how they can navigate financial transactions using technology, during this challenging period where working from home, curfews, occasional lock-downs, social distancing and the reduction of large gatherings are implemented as part of the solution to help in the fight against the Pandemic .

“We have been encouraging persons to use the available technology, such as the use of an app to monitor their finances as well as budgeting; pointing persons to sign up for online banking  to carry out activities such as bill payment,” which she said is convenient, efficient and safer.

Mrs Miller said while some Jamaicans have expressed concerns about using technology, it is time that they embrace the technology as the pandemic has forced many to adapt.

Turning to the webinar scheduled for JN members and the general public, on April 29 at 7:00 p.m., Mrs. Miller encouraged everyone to log on and join the conversation.  “We must be continually working to improve the level of financial literacy of our citizens so that our families and country can be more financially stable.”

The session entitled ‘Ask Me Anything About Money’, will be facilitated by experts from across the JN Group along with special guest, Michelle Toylor-Carter, Chief Executive Officer, of Credit Information Services.

“Persons attending may register on the JN Foundation website and JN Group social media platforms for an informative discussion on charting a path to financial security,” said the JN Foundation grants manager.

The JN BeWi$e Financial Literacy Project was launched by the JN Foundation, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, in June 2013.

Initially targeting remittance customers, many of whom were unbanked, the programme has been expanded to include other groups, including children.  Utilizing a toolkit designed to debunk the myth that financial independence is a dream attainable by only a few, the programme promotes the idea that with knowledge, discipline and commitment, this desirable status can be achieved by many.

Revamped in 2015, the initiative has become one of the most sought after programmes at the JN Foundation, as individuals become more aware that proper money management is necessary in their quest to achieve their financial goals

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JN Foundation Donates Water Conservation Devices to the Wortley Home for Girls

JN Foundation Donates Rainwater Harvesting System and Water Efficiency Kits to the Wortley Home for Girls

Parris Lyew-Ayee (right), chairman of the JN Foundation presents water efficiency kits to Tanya Wildish (second left), director, Wortley Home for Girls. Sharing in the moment are Mary Allen-Smith (left), director of the JN Foundation and Delores Bailey, manager, Wortley Home for Girls. The home also received a rain water system at a handing over ceremony on World Water Day, March 22, at the home. The donation is in an effort to implement water adaptation measures and curb water usage within the home.

The JN Foundation, through its initiative, the Water Project Jamaica, has donated a rainwater harvesting system and 12 water-efficiency kits to the Wortley Home for Girls at a handing over ceremony on World Water Day, March 22, 2021, at the Home. This is in an effort to implement water adaptation measures and curb water usage within the Home.

Grappling with high water bills, the Wortley Home was established by the Anglican Diocese in 1918 to provide a home and a safe space for girls ages seven to eighteen. The institution was recently rebuilt following a fire in 2015, and now provides a loving environment and Christian upbringing for 14 girls, from a variety of backgrounds.

“In observance of this year’s World Water Day, we want to emphasize the value of water, whether in homes, schools or communities. And, we want to spread the message of water conservation and efficient water use as a part of valuing water. Our donation to the Home will increase its efficient use of water, and decrease the burden of high bills,” expressed Mr. Parris A. Lyew-Ayee, Chairman of the JN Foundation, who made the presentation of the items to the Home this week.

“Each water-efficiency kit includes a showerhead, aerators for the kitchen and bathroom sinks and a toilet leak detector. In addition, we handed over a rainwater harvesting system which will be installed by Instant-Save Conservation Solutions Jamaica Limited,” Mrs. Cornelia Walters-Jones, Project Manager, added.

Rainwater-harvesting systems capture rainwater by directing it from large surfaces, for example, roofs, to an underground or over-ground holding tank. The harvested rainwater is filtered and then pumped directly to the appliances or to a header tank. Domestic or commercial applications include flushing toilets. The Home will use its system to reduce water consumption primarily in the laundry area.

“Water means different things to different people, and we, at the Foundation, have started the conversation surrounding water conservation and what it means to adapt to water saving measures,” stated Mr. Lyew-Ayee. “Adapting means adjusting, and our aim is to influence the narrative that water is important to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your wellbeing, and your local environment, so it is up to you to value and preserve it the best way you can.”

The water project, which was started in 2017, is a joint collaboration with the JN Bank, the JN Foundation, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Lab.

“The funding from our partners has allowed us to take on impactful and meaningful projects, such as this at the Wortley Home for Girls, as we aim to make a difference. We have also produced useful resources such as a water savings calculator; water adaptation guidelines for homeowners; offered training in water harvesting and carried out a 12 month-long household pilot study,” pointed out Mrs. Walters-Jones.

“A major shock to us at the Home came when the monthly water bill cost us over one hundred thousand dollars,” noted Mrs. Tanya Wildish, Director of the Home. “Most of that money we would have hoped to put into purchasing personal and educational items for the girls and fixing up the home.”

“With the installation of the devices, we are excited to see how much money we are able to save by cutting down our water usage,” added Mr. Keith Sangster, who is also a Director of the Wortley Home for Girls.

In addition to the installation of the devices, the visit to the Home featured a socially distant but interactive session with JN Ambassador, Agent Sasco and the girls, as well as a tour of the facility grounds.

To learn more about the Water Project Jamaica and its corporate philanthropy initiatives, please visit www.waterprojectja.com.

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Saving and Investing: A Path to Financial Security

Chavelle Campbell, Youth Empowerment Officer, with Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

Chavelle Campbell knows too well the importance of saving and investing and how these financial tools have assisted her in achieving her financial goals.

The 30 year-old, Youth Empowerment Officer, with Ministry of Education, Youth and Information learned from an early age that preparing for her retirement should commence as soon as she lands her first job – a knowledge which was imparted to her through the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme, an initiative of the JN Foundation.

“Coming out of university, I did my internship at the JN Foundation with the Resolution Project and that is when I was introduced to the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme. Through the programme, I learned about saving to invest, and since then, I have implemented many of those lessons in my life,” she said.

“I learned then that your first pay cheque, is when you [should] start saving for your pension,” she added.

Campbell said through discipline, she was able to purchase her home by the time she was 30 and most of her financial goals are on point.

“One of the things I have learned from the BeWi$e programme is that each ‘one, teach one’. So since then I have been extending my knowledge to everyone,” she said.

Aneika Vassell, a student nurse
Aneika Vassell, a student nurse

For Aneika Vassell, a student nurse who cares for patients with advanced dementia, budgeting was key to improving her finances.

“A budget is the first tool that you can use to create wealth. My husband and I have been using this tool in our everyday life to manage our money better,” she said explaining that it assisted in keeping track of spending and achieving financial goals.

Vassell, however, admitted that in the beginning it was difficult and that it took a lot of discipline, but, she noted, it has paid off, as there have been improvements in their savings and investment.

“So far, we are reaping our rewards. We have improved in our savings, we have improved our investments and we have been diversifying our portfolio, which is very important,” she said.

Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation
Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation

Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation and team lead of the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme said that a budget can be created by using apps or Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets.

“Select the most suitable method to help you create your budget.  It can be as simple, or as complex as you like. Be prepared to input information about all income and especially expenses as they happen. Whichever method you choose, you will still need to be disciplined to achieve your financial goals so sticking to the budget is very critical. If possible, set an alert to warn about overspending,” she said.

Giving advice on tips on how to improve saving, Mrs Miller said it is best to apply the following:

  • Pay yourself first– Use online banking to transfer money or automate deposits from your pay to your savings, investment, or emergency fund account. Remember the 10-10-80 rule:

10% – Savings

10% – Donate

80% – Spend

  • Create an Emergency Fund–   If you do not yet have an emergency fund account, it is time to set one up.  Remember you should maintain a balance to cover at least six months  living expenses  in your emergency fund,” she said.
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