The JN Foundation, has awarded $8.3 million to community organisations to implement seven community related projects across the island.

The grant funding will be administered through the JN Circle, a global network of JN members and customers who are empowered by JN to work together to improve their own lives and the lives of other Jamaicans everywhere.

The projects cover a range of social development, education and health initiatives in communities across six parishes. 

Dawnette Pryce-Thompson, project coordinator at the JN Foundation, said she was happy to be awarding the grants to projects that will resonate and be impactful when implemented.

“The JN Foundation is committed to enriching lives and building communities. We believe that these awards which were proposed by our JN Circle members in communities across the island, will be sustainably implemented and will yield measurable and realistic outcomes,” she said.

The projects that have been awarded grants include a skills training centre spearheaded by the Ocho Rios Baptist Church and the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios. The project is targeted at upskilling unattached youth in Ocho Rios and its environs by providing them with practical training in the areas of plumbing and electrical installation. The training will be certified by the HEART/ NSTA Trust and will be conducted in a retrofitted 40-foot container located at the church.

The Port Maria Hospital in St. Mary will also benefit from the grant funding with the donation of medical equipment, such as an ECG machine, pulse oximeters and a defibrillator. This equipment will assist the hospital to improve healthcare services to patients.

Bull Savannah Primary & Junior High School in St. Elizabeth has been awarded funding to furnish an existing open air lunchroom that caters to some 40 students. This will be done through the donation of dining tables and chairs.

Maryland Primary and Infant School in Hanover is another recipient that will benefit from the donation of tablets to be used as loaners to students in need. The devices will assist them with accessing lessons remotely, when necessary and provide access to online resources.

Residents of Cross Keys and surrounding communities in southern Manchester are also recipients of a JN Foundation grant, which they will use to assist with boosting an agro-processing facility in the community, with the donation of a commercial slicer and a deep fryer. The funds are expected to be used to improve the community centre and sporting facility with the installation of concrete benches for the playfield.

The Spanish Town Young Men Citizens Association’s (YMCA) computer lab in St Catherine will be upgraded with needed air conditioning units.  The grant funding will be used to install the units that will help to protect the computer hardware and software, reducing the risks of downtime or destruction.

The newly built centre of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth is another recipient of the grants, which will outfit the new centre with chairs, tables, office equipment, kitchen appliances, cribs and utensils. The centre provides educational and counselling support for pregnant girls and young mothers under 17 years old, with a mandate for their successful transition into continued and higher learning.

Donna Burton, centre manager at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, was elated that the Foundation was awarded funding and expressed her appreciation.

“This is a real blessing for us and it will advance the programme here in Santa Cruz area,” she said.

The JN Foundation last year issued a call for proposals for projects that will improve communities and to access grant funding of up to $1.5 million. Twenty-seven project proposals were received.