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Non Profit Profile: Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc

Written by Staff Writer

Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. (“PJFJ”) is a 501(C)(3) Tax Exempt Organization created to work on behalf of the success of Jamaica and Jamaicans by serving the communities that are challenged socio-economically, politically, and environmentally. Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. promotes education as its mantra, specifically targeting children of single mothers as well as single mothers themselves, and assists with equipping them with the tools necessary for personal and professional development. This, we hope, will ensure we contribute to the creation of a nation of independent, free thinking, and liberated Jamaicans, who are capable of making choices that will enable them to live their best selves.

This organization will, among other things, provide scholarship opportunities to high school students who are faced with economic hardships; provide entrepreneurship training for self reliance; and offer personal development workshops for single mothers. Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. will be successful in this effort by forging partnerships with corporate entities and local high schools in Jamaica.
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. will work closely with all Jamaicans to reassert a sense of hope in the future for all. Only through these collective relationships can a sense of individual responsibility be re-established that will create among other things, a commitment to our youths to follow through on their path to adulthood, with a true sense of pride and accomplishment. To accomplish this goal, our young people must be in caring, inclusive learning environments that demand their best efforts while encouraging and reinforcing personal and collective responsibility and respect.

Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. will create programs that are in direct response to the growing number of young people that are either falling through the cracks at school, because of lack of funds to pursue their goals, coupled with post high school graduation syndrome of no hope to further education at the university level. The goal is to identify students who excelled scholastically in high school and who lack the financial support for continuing education, which may lead to pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level, high school and university, but the goal remains the same; empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her life.
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. will focus primarily on high school students and less fortunate single mothers, with the hope that within a reasonable projected timeframe, there will be a positive change in their thinking towards hope and progression.

Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. will provide mentoring programs which will pair a student with a mentor for 12 months. During that time the two will participate in planned activities to strengthen the relationship between them and improve the young person’s confidence and hopefulness. Mentors will receive continuous training throughout the year and will participate in a monthly meeting to report the young person’s progress.

Over time, Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. will create a learning environment that will be an invaluable resource to young people, aspiring mentors and the community at large.

HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL JAMAICANS FOR JAMAICA, INC.
On May 10, 2010 Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. was created on Facebook. The group is the brainchild of Horace A. Daley, a Jamaican native living in the United States of America and already has over 1,500 members from international boundaries committed to united actions for improving Jamaica and Jamaican lifestyles.

After a futile search to find a space on Facebook where Jamaicans living abroad, like himself, can discuss issues affecting Jamaica, Horace decided to create the group. Within a week the membership grew close to 150, and he immediately forged an administrative core team with fellow Jamaicans, home and abroad.

A month later, his vision for Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. became clearer, especially after several arising issues and discussions critically affecting the country; disturbance which underlines and further widens the social and economic woes of the country.
Horace believes in accountability, integrity and transparency, which are the core principles of Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. Hence, financial pledges, allocations, and commitments will be readily available to members and the public.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS
The group’s objectives are now being further developed to incorporate the suggestions and execution of practicable solutions.
The first step towards implementing solutions to changing Jamaica and Jamaican lifestyle collectively for better is to offer scholarships, the first of which is named in honor of Ms. Esmie L Walters. This scholarship is for high school students from grades 7-11, in providing them with funds to offset tuition expenses.

ABOUT THE FACEBOOK GROUP
Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. is a broad-based collaborative Facebook initiative, which gives Professional Jamaicans an opportunity to articulate their views about issues affecting Jamaica, in the areas of education and youth.

The main goals of the organization is not just identify or highlight the problems affecting our nation, but propose meaningful solutions and act on them to effect changes where it is deemed necessary.

The organization, which also consists of members in the Diaspora, will assist low-income citizens in Jamaica, especially mothers and children to help themselves complete their education and achieve economic self-sufficiency through empowerment skills, access to affordable housing, child development services, health care, support services and meaningful employment.

MISSION OF PROFESSIONAL JAMAICANS FOR JAMAICA, INC.
The mission of Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. is to address the financial needs of low-income citizens of Jamaica and to build leaders who will shape the future of our nation, with an unfaltering commitment to inspire the same in their successors.

Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. shall unite through business related professionals and students, who have similar interest and ideals, are committed to professional and academic excellence, possess a sense of professional and civic responsibility, and are concerned with enhancing opportunities for low-income citizens of Jamaica.

OUR CORPORATE VALUES
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. are confident that success will be achieved through the organization’s corporate values:

Accountability
We are empowered to do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it, and with a sense of urgency

Diversity
We derive strength from the diversity of our people; Out of Many One People

Integrity
We hold ourselves to the highest professional and personal ethical standards.

Respect
We treat all members and sponsors with dignity, consideration and appreciation

Teamwork
We work together and communicate clearly and concisely to achieve our common goals

Trust
We earn and maintain trust in all of our relationships

THE NATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
The ability to choose is intrinsic to the social, emotional and intellectual development of our children.
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. has established a National Education Program (“NEP”), an initiative designed and structured to propel the education system of our nation to the top tier of the world. This will be one of the main long-term goals of the organization.
Jamaica’s education system has deteriorated over the years, at all levels. Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. has motion a call to mobilize support, with a sense of urgency, towards making a meaningful contribution to Jamaica’s serious educational dilemma.
Problems arising from lack of adequate school accommodation, inadequate facilities, supplies and equipment, children unable to attend schools because they are unable to meet the cost of transportation, lunch, and breakfast has prompted Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. to establish a National Education Program (“NEP”).

Students who are unable to obtain admittance to High School or Tertiary Institutions and the increasing and prohibitive cost of a tertiary education have drawn nationwide attention that requires an immediate intervention.

The organization’s attention is also focused on the problems of teachers and the lowering of standards of the educational system in general, which pose grave problems for some of the newly arriving Jamaican children in the United States of America.
The aim of this program is to enable the organization to launch a successful National Education Program to raise financial grants and sponsorship towards meeting Jamaica’s pressing needs in education.

The program is also aimed at enhancing the role of Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. as a serious and credible national body concerned and involved in the development of Jamaica.

Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. has placed its main focus on the education sector of Jamaica. Our priorities to impact the education sector are as follow:
 

  • Early Childhood Education – adopt a basic school
  • Educational Homework Centers (After-School Program)
  • Adolescent Girls Program (aim: to mitigate poverty in our country)
  • University and High School Scholarship
  • Educational Assistance Grants (this will allow grants to deserving students)
  • Provision of books, computers, equipment, and supplies to schools.
  • Provide help to students in dire need of assistance with transportation and feeding. For Jamaica to move ahead and meet its goals of Vision 2030 it requires a skilled work forces and education is the key. The need for the National Education Program to succeed cannot be over stressed.

THE BACKPACK PROJECT
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. established The Backpack Project. This initiative invites members of the organization and businesses to donate basic school supplies to low-income children who would otherwise return to school without them. School supplies received are distributed to children in various locations in Jamaica. The main goal of The Backpack Project is to help impoverished communities with much-needed school supplies, in preparation for the new school term.

We appreciate the donations and sponsorship from our members and businesses, respectively, which has helped in the success of The Backpack Project.

THE BREAKFAST PROGRAM
Most of us are now acutely aware that education is the number one way to advance one’s opportunities for a better life. In fact, there is a direct relationship between anti-social behaviors and a lack of education. Sadly, too many of our children are missing school and are therefore not participating in the educational process. Among the many reasons why children miss school, is the lack of access to the first meal of the day – breakfast.

As a result, one of our first major goals was to establish The Breakfast Program. Indeed, studies have shown that students who eat breakfast are more likely to experience improved concentration in the classroom, while students who skip breakfast are more likely to have difficulty focusing and recalling information. Additionally, it has been shown that children who live in families that experience hunger are more likely to have lower math scores, face increased likelihood of repeating a grade, and receive more special education services, and eventually drop out of school.

Armed with this information, one of our first missions was to reduce/remove that reason why our less fortunate children do not attend and/or actively participate in school. On Friday, February 18, 2011, Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. implemented The Breakfast Program at Trench Town Primary School.

SCHOLARSHIPS OF PROFESSIONAL JAMAICANS FOR JAMAICA, INC.
Professional Jamaicans for Jamaica, Inc. established a High School and University Scholarship to assist students with their education expense. High School Scholarship

Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. established The Ms. Esmie L. Walters Scholarship, in honor of a devoted mother and an advocate of education. This scholarship is awarded to deserving students attending High Schools in Jamaica, through our essay writing competition which is published in the national newspapers.

Ms. Esmie L. Walters was a single mother of four (4) children who resided in one of Jamaica’s volatile inner-city communities. She did not attain a diploma from High School, due to the pressure to provide for her younger siblings.

Ms. Esmie L. Walters was an entrepreneur in the Retail Industry, while working full-time as a factory worker in Kingston, Jamaica. With both jobs, she was able to provide her children with High School and University education, an accomplishment she was very proud of.
Her dedication to the success of her children’s education relates to the fact that she gave to them what she never achieved as a child; an education.

Ms. Esmie L. Walters was the typical Jamaican mother who committed her life to her children. She withstood the trials and tribulations of a single mother, and nurtured her children with all her love.

She constantly reminded them on the importance of education. Ms. Walters’ famous mantra was:
“Labor for Learning before you grow old, for learning is better than silver and gold; silver and gold will vanish away but a good Education will never decay.”

University Scholarship
Professional Jamaicans For Jamaica, Inc. established The Una M.V. Marson Scholarship to be awarded to deserving students attending or will attend a University in Jamaica during the fiscal year.

Una Marson was born on February 6, 1905, in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, in the parish of St. Elizabeth. She was the youngest of six children of Reverend Soloman Isaac, a Baptist pastor, and Ada Marson. Una had a middle class upbringing and was very close to her father, who influenced some of her father-like characters in her later works. As a child before going to school she was an avid reader of available literature, which at the time was mostly English classical literature.

At the age of 10, she was enrolled in Hampton High; a girl’s boarding school in Jamaica of which her father was on the board of trustees. However, that same year, Reverend Isaac died, leaving the family with financial problems, so the family moved to Kingston, Jamaica. Una finished school at Hampton High, but did not go on to a college education.

After she left from Hampton, she found work in Kingston as a volunteer social worker and used the secretarial skills, such as stenography, she had learned in school.

In 1926, she was appointed assistant editor of the Jamaican political journal, Jamaica Critic. Her years at Jamaica Critic taught her journalism skills as well as influencing her political and social opinions and inspired her to create her own publication. In fact, in 1928, she became Jamaica’s first female editor and publisher of her own magazine, The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan featured articles on feminist topics, local social issues and workers’ rights and was aimed at a young, middle class Jamaican audience. Marson’s articles encouraged women to join the work forces and to become politically active. The magazine also featured Jamaican poetry and literature from Marson’s fellow members of the Jamaican Poetry League, which was started by Clare Macfarlane.

In 1930, Marson published her first collection of poems, entitled Tropic Reveries that dealt with love and nature with elements of feminism. It won the Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. Her poems about love are somewhat misunderstood by friends and critics, as there is no evidence of a romantic relationship in Marson’s life, although love continued to be a common topic in her work. In 1931, due to financial difficulties, The Cosmopolitan ceased publication, which led her to begin publishing more poetry and plays. In 1931, she published another collection of poetry, entitled Heights and Depths, which also dealt with love and social issues. Also in 1931, she wrote her first play, At What a Price. The play is about a Jamaican girl who moves from the country into the city of Kingston to work as a stenographer and falls in love with her white male boss. It opened in Jamaica and later London to critical acclaim. In 1932, she decided to go to London to find a broader audience for her work and to experience life outside of Jamaica.

Marson first moved to London in 1932. The racism and sexism she met there “transformed both her life and her poetry”; Marson’s voice in her poetry became more focused on the identity of black women in England. In this period then, Marson not only continued to write about women’s roles in society, but also put into the mix the issues faced by black people who lived in England.

In July 1933, Marson wrote a poem called “Nigger”, which appeared in The League of Coloured People’s journal, The Keys. “Nigger” is one of Marson’s more forceful poems addressing racism in England. However, this poem only saw light seven years later when it was published in 1940.
Marson returned to Jamaica in 1936, where one of her goals was to promote national literature. One step she took in achieving this goal was to help create the Kingston Readers and Writers Club, as well as the Kingston Drama Club. She also founded the Jamaica Save the Children Fund, an organization that raised funds to give the poorer children money to get a basic education.

In promoting Jamaican literature, she published Moth and the Star in 1937. Many poems in that volume demonstrated how despite the media’s portrayal that black women has inferior beauty when compared to the whites, black women should still be confident in their own physical beauty. This theme is seen in “Cinema Eyes”, “Little Brown Girl”, “Black is Fancy” and “Kinky Hair Blues”. However, Marson herself was affected by the stereotype of superior white beauty; Marson herself, her biographer tells us, within months of her arrival in Britain “stopped straightening her hair and went natural”.

Going along with her feminist principles, Marson worked with Louise Bennett to create another play called London Calling, which was about a woman who moved to London to further her education. However, the woman later became homesick and returned to Jamaica. This play shows how the main character is a “strong heroine” for being able to “force herself to return to London” in order to finish her education there. Also in the feminist vein, Marson wrote Public Opinion, contributing to the feminist column.

Marson’s third play, Pocomania, is about a woman named Stella who is looking for an exciting life. Critics suggest that this play is significant because it demonstrates how an “Afro-religious cult” affects middle-class women. Pocomania is also one of Marson’s most important works because she was able to put the essence of the Jamaican culture into this play. Critics such as Ivy Baxter said that “Pocomania was a break in tradition because it talked about a cult from the country”, and, as such, it represented a turning point in what was acceptable on the stage.
In 1937, Marson wrote a poem called “Quashie comes to London”, which is the perspective of England in a Caribbean narrative. In Caribbean dialect, quashie means gullible or unsophisticated. Although initially impressed, Quashie becomes disgusted with England because there is not enough good food there. The poem shows how, although England has good things to offer, it is Jamaican culture that Quashie misses, and therefore Marson implies that England is supposed to be “the temporary venue for entertainment”. The poem shows how it was possible for a writer to implement Caribbean dialect in a poem, and it is this usage of local dialect that situates Quashie’s perspective of England as a Caribbean perspective.

HOW TO CONTACT PROFESSIONAL JAMAICANS FOR JAMAICA, INC.
Horace A. Daley
President/Chief Executive

Sharon M. Daley
Officer General Secretary

M. Rowe, Sr.
Director/Operations Committee

Konrad M. Rowe, Sr.
Director/Executive Vice President

PROFESSIONAL JAMAICANS FOR JAMAICA, INC
P.O. BOX 320058
FAIRFIELD, CT 06825
USA

Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pjfj.org
Main Number: (866) 285-9312

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