American Friends of Jamaica’s Gala will fund Jamaican Nonprofits

Mustard Seed Communities’ new home for disabled and AIDS-affected children near Montego Bay was one of the American Friends of Jamaica’s (AFJ) beneficiaries April 22 in Kingston, Jamaica, when the AFJ distributed its annual grants to education, health, environment and community-development non-profits on the island. Children housed in the facility will have the AFJ to thank for much of the funding for their new living quarters.

When the AFJ holds its first South Florida gala June 25 at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Mustard Seed is the kind of organization that will benefit. The AFJ has assisted over 60 such Jamaican institutions since its founding in New York in 1982.

A Penchant for Education

Education has long been one of the AFJ’s prime concerns. Elementary schoolchildren across Jamaica received math workbooks this past year through the AFJ, which administered a $200,000 joint donation by Western Union and Jamaican conglomerate Grace Kennedy to Jamaica’s Education Ministry. A school near Mandeville was another target of AFJ attention, this time through the largesse of a Washington, DC, supporter.

UWI, as the University of the West Indies is known throughout the Caribbean, benefited, too, and not only with student bursaries. The AFJ / Cobb Family Foundation Lecture Series is an innovative new endowment that will highlight the year’s most striking contribution by a UWI professor on the topic of Jamaica’s future development.

“These education grants are especially meaningful to us,” says AFJ President Glen Holden, formerly the U.S. ambassador in Kingston, and the donor of one of the UWI bursary endowments. “We think our funding is multiplied in the results produced.

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