Having PURPOSE Brings Jamaican Romantic Comedy Tek Weh Yuhself to New York
Fundraiser Benefit for Schools in Jamaica
by Howard Campbell
NEW YORK – Approximately 30 Jamaican schools will benefit from a gesture by Having PURPOSE, a New York-based, non-profit organization that has done humanitarian work in Jamaica and Africa.
Christeen Francis, a senior director of the organization, said the schools in rural areas and the capital Kingston, will receive “digital devices” to enhance their programs. Proceeds from Tek Weh Yuhself, a play scheduled to open at Hostos Community College in The Bronx on March 10, will pay for shipping of the equipment to Jamaica.
Tek Weh Yuhself, a romantic comedy, is written by Devon Morgan, a Jamaican based in the United Kingdom. It stars veteran Jamaican actors Deon Silvera and Stede Flash.
“It’s a great feeling to give back to Jamaica, especially to the children and schools who need the help,” said Francis, who started Having PURPOSE in 2015.
Since then, they have donated computers and other digital apparatus to high schools and primary schools.
By liasing with past student associations in North America, the organization is made aware of challenges facing schools in Jamaica. Once they are properly vetted, Francis and her team approach donors for assistance.
In 2022, 25 institutions benefitted from the organization’s outreach. Having PURPOSE has also fitted computer labs at leading Jamaican schools such as Cornwall College, Clarendon College and Munro College.
This year, Francis and her team will ship 300 desks and chairs to assist an educational project in St. Catherine parish.
Having PURPOSE raises funds for their educational initiatives through charity events like Jamaica Farewell, the long-running one-woman play by Jamaican actress/writer Debra Ehrhardt. They have also staged shows featuring top reggae acts like Eric Donaldson, Half Pint, Pam Hall and Taj Weekes.
Francis is from Denbigh, a town in rural Clarendon parish, central Jamaica. She migrated to the United States at age 14 and has spent most of her life in New York. Francis holds a masters degree in social work from State University of New York.
Tek Weh Yuhself will do two shows at Hostos Community College (the other being on March 11). The play is also scheduled for dates in other major US cities, Canada and the United Kingdom.