[SOUTH FLORIDA] – In response to the ongoing need to provide Jamaican children with electronic devices such as tablets and laptops for distance learning, Consul General Oliver Mair will host a Christmas fundraising initiative.
The event titled “Mek di Pickney Dem Smile” will feature a Virtual Concert and Telethon, to be held on Sunday, December 20th, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. This will be streamed on PBCJ-TV; irietimes.com; www.IrietimesTV.com and www.Jamaicans.com.
The three-hour entertainment package will feature live and recorded performances from both International and locally-based artistes including renowned reggae fame Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Junior “One Blood” Reid, Mikey Spice, and Kashief Lindo.
Viewers will also enjoy a Christmas musical specials from Jamaica’s musical giant, Michael Harris; dub poet, Malachi Smith; opera/classical singer, Rory Baugh; tenor Steve Higgins; and the Tallawah Mento Band.
How to Donate
Consul General Mair is appealing to patrons, including charitable groups, business community and individuals across the Diaspora to support the ongoing efforts through monetary donations that can be done through several channels.
He extended appreciation to the several alumni chapters in the Diaspora who has already responded to the cause through donations of equipment as well as financial to their individual alma mater. “Our goal is to raise US$50,000 to purchase the electronic devices in Jamaica, in order to acquire the specific equipment that works best for the Jamaican virtual learning experience,” said Consul General Mair. “
Donations will continue through January end, next year. Persons can donate on SmileJA.com and those wishing to contribute also can mail checks to the Consulate General of Jamaica 44 West Flagler Street – 4th Floor, Miami, FL 33130.
A Device for Every Child – Bridging the Digital Divide
The support for the educational online learning process in Jamaica themed “A Device for Every Child – Bridging the Digital Divide” was launched in October, by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams. According to the Minister, this initiative is part of Government’s commitment to provide quality education to every student by ensuring that no child is left behind as a result of the unprecented challenges related to the COVID pandemic.
This programme was to ensure that all our students have access to a laptop or tablet.
The Consulate has partnered with several organizations including the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), the Bob Marley Foundation and the Kiwanis East Pines- Miramar to effectively manage the collection and dissemination of donations.
So far, the education drive is being supported by Jamaica alumni associations, corporate entities and philanthropic organizations, and individuals.