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PetroCaribe Development Fund’s Community Outreach at the Bethesda Primary School

Article, Press Releases — January 23, 2015

In continuation of the PetroCaribe Development Fund’s Community Outreach Programme which began in 2012, the staff of the Fund organized a community outreach activity at the Bethesda Primary school in Llandewey, St. Thomas on December 4, 2014.

The PDF’s involvement with Bethesda Primary school started in 2012 under the Schools’ Sanitation Project, which was managed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and funded by the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF). The main aim of this initiative was the replacement of pit latrines with water closets within select rural schools across Jamaica, of which, the Bethesda Primary school was a part.  With a view to strengthen ties and to make a far greater impact on the functioning of the school, the PDF decided to carry out its bi-annual community project at Bethesda. The outreach project sought to meet some of the school’s current needs through the donation of a multi-media projector and screen, the provision of paint and painting materials for the painting of two classrooms, reading books, note books, pencils and geometry sets for the students.

The day’s activities were executed by the members of staff who were divided into teams; Painting & Entertainment, Teaching & Tokens and Food & Hospitality. The painting team was joined by the Principal in painting two classrooms under the guidance of a professional painter. The teaching team, which was led by  the CEO, were assigned to Grades 1- 6, and were tasked with the responsibility of giving support to the teachers by teaching lessons and engaging in class activities for the day.  The children were very receptive to the visual aids which were utilized and showed active interest and lively participation in class discussions which, in one instance, took the form of an outdoor learning experience.

The PDF, through the Food & Hospitality team organized the provision of lunch for the entire staff, students and volunteers for the day, which was greatly appreciated.  An entertainment package saw the PDF team hosting and creating a musical setting that had the children dancing and singing along, in addition to providing an opportune time for the teachers and students to showcase their talents.  The staff took the opportunity at this time to interact with the teachers and students on a more personal basis. Other guest presenters were also on hand to share in the festivities.

This community outreach activity strengthened the Fund’s commitment to the mandate of upgrading the physical and social infrastructure of Jamaica and supporting the development of human resources, in this case through the enhancement of education programmes in schools within underserved communities in Jamaica.

As a follow up to the Outreach activity on December 4, the PDF, with a view to support the environmental awareness effort at the school, donated Blue Mahoe seedlings on December 9, with the promise of a further donation of Lignum Vitae seedlings in 2015.

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