“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.” Martin Luther King, Jr
The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) is a mutual organisation which is owned by its members and constituted to serve our members. We are built on the concept of mutuality, which enables us to give back to the Jamaican people and communities across the island, by providing financial and technical support to projects and programmes both at the community and at the national level. We operate on the basis that there can be no successful Jamaica National without a successful Jamaica. In this regard Jamaica National has, out of our own resources, invested some $120m into the work of the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation during 2015 to improve the outcomes of many Jamaicans and to help them to achieve the ideals of mutuality in our key areas of focus: Education, Health, Safety and Security, Social Empowerment, and Skills and Personal Development.
We recognise our mutual responsibility to Jamaica; and we, therefore, invest in supporting the development of our members and the community in which we serve. In 2015, we achieved this through key programme goals which were evident in some of our core project initiatives.
The Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, continues to implement the iLead Project which is designed to improve school leadership, management and academic output for 10 schools in Eastern Jamaica. Schools in the project have received specific interventions through targeted training, improved teaching methods, and greater levels of accountability for the outcome of students.
Our Member Advisory Council (MAC), which encourages members/customers to organise and implement civic enhancement projects, received funding from the JN Foundation during the year to support community-based projects in parishes and communities in which JN branches are located. The MACs implemented, among others, projects such as the renovation of the Water Fountain at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH); the refurbishing of the St. Ann’s Bay Police Station and Infirmary, the sprucing up of the community park of Ridgeview so that the children and elderly living in the community have access to a recreational facility and much more.
A significant area of success for the Foundation is the work done through the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI). One of the major achievements last year was the staging of the SEBI Summit. The objective of the meeting was to bring together key stakeholders and persons engaged in community enterprises to collaborate, share experiences, identify challenges and put forward suggestions to ensure supportive legislation as well as encourage best practices by social enterprises. The SEBI project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and they have agreed to extend the project for another two years through the grant of additional funding.
The drive to improve conditions in Jamaica continued through the Resolution Project which encourages students to advocate for change and to reflect the society in which they live through photography. The work of the students was exhibited at the 2015 Jamaica Diaspora Conference, at our main international airports, and at a photographic exhibition at the European External Affairs Service building in Brussels, Belgium which was entitled: “Out Of Many One Jamaica.”
Our efforts during the year were supported by our international partners, the European Union, the EU Delegation in Jamaica and the USAID.
The JN Foundation achieves its goals through a management team of committed and inspired persons, namely Saffrey Brown, Dr Renee Rattray, Rose Miller, Onyka Barrett and a strong supportive team. Together, they have impacted the lives of persons in every parish of Jamaica through the projects undertaken by direct advocacy or the general investment of their time and resources in community activities.
As we reflect on the achievements of the past year and look ahead to new areas of engagement, the JN Foundation holds fast to the tenet of mutuality, as it seeks to help others to identify their place in that “single garment of destiny”, and be what they ought to be.
Earl Jarrett, CD, Hon. LL.D, JP
Chairman, Jamaica National Building Society Foundation