Former Jamaica College Students Worldwide Help the School During COVID-19 Crisis

Jamaica College

Alumni associations of Jamaica College are planning to raise $1 million (JA Dollars) per month to help students at the school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The JC alumni associations worldwide chapters are taking strong action to mitigate the economic hardships imposed by the pandemic on Jamaica College (JC)  and its students. After some two months of the societal restrictions imposed by coronavirus lockdown policies designed to stem the spread of the disease, JC has lost nearly all of its supplemental income. This places the school in a dire condition.

The school has implemented online technology such as tablets and laptop computers, to maintain the learning environment, which requires it to utilize its technology solutions while continuing payments for utilities and ground maintenance at the same time. This is proving to be a challenge without the income usually generated from the rental of its auditorium, classrooms, and sports facilities. Additionally, there is no income from lunch sales in the cafeteria and only minimal income from fees paid by parents. JC has also reduced the number of staff members and faces cutting hours or cutting pay for the staff that remains. Of particular concern are supplemental teachers and administrators, a group that has been especially hard-hit by the loss of JC income as it is paid directly by the school rather than by Jamaica’s Ministry of Education. These staff members are critical in elevating JC’s academic standards.

Fortunately, the Jamaica College Old Boy’s Associations are very active, both locally and overseas, with its chapters worldwide combining their resources to launch the Jamaica College Big Brothers COVID-19 Rescue Plan. The plan’s goal is to raise the funding necessary to alleviate some of the problems caused by these losses of income. The plan is designed to help offset some salaries and support the technology-based learning environment required during the pandemic.

The JCOBA, in its attempts to create a single pool of resources, had to overcome some significant obstacles, but it succeeded by using the JCOBA Big Brother program. The program allows JC Old Boys to provide aid to current students so they can attend the school by setting aside monthly contributions targeting things like meals, books, bus fares, uniforms, and tuition. By using online funding platforms like PayPal, GoFundMe and Cash App, Old Boys from anywhere in the world can contribute to the organization’s funding efforts.

To contribute to the JC COVID-19 Rescue Plan, people can visit the association’s Facebook and Instagram pages, the school website to select the appropriate payment platform. They can also contact a JCOBA chapter for more information.

Donate via the following chapters

Here are quotes from representatives from each chapter.

“The various chapters of the JC Old Boys Association have always done their individual parts to support JC from their respective locations. But this is the first time, at least to my memory, that the four major chapters have collaborated like this in such a unified, cohesive, joint project. I think that this indicative of the enormity of the challenge we are facing with this pandemic and it really requires an all-hands on deck approach where we are all pulling in the same direction. I am positive that our old boys from all over the world will respond to the call and show up for duty to help our beloved college” said Major Basil Jarrett, president of the Jamaica College Old Boys’ Association (JCOBA) based in Kingston.

“On behalf of the JC old boys in Canada, we would like to express our full support in the COVID-19 fundraising drive for our beloved Jamaica College. We have set a three month goal of $7,800Cdn and so far the response has been positive. Fervet Forever!”, said Mark Delfose the president of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Canada

“We are extremely grateful to the many loyal members of the True Blue community here in NY, whom have responded swiftly to the call to address this severe challenge impacting a beloved institution that undertakes the monumental task of shaping the lives of young men in Jamaica. We are forever our brothers keepers and this effort by our entire global Old Boys network underscores the recognition that it is our collective duty to respond to the needs of Jamaica College when called upon.”, said Carl Bennett president of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York

“New studies show than COVID-19 virus and it’s attendant fever doesn’t just impact the lungs but also the heart. In fact, research within the last 7 days revealed that enlargement of any one of the 4 chambers of the heart results in increased likelihood of mortality. Similar to the increased temperature occasioned by COVID-19, is the portion of the motto of Jamaica College that speaks to the increased temperature of work burning in the field (Fervet Opus in Campis). Alike the destruction brought by COVID-19, JC and other secondary educational institutions, in Jamaica, are facing premature financial death or collapse. However, like the virus’ effect on the 4 chambers of the heart, a brainchild of a Chambers house alumnus of Jamaica College has resulted in all 4 JC alumni association chapters working cooperatively to save JC from premature financial death. Instead of each of the independently operated JC alumni associations competing for accolades with each other as they have historically —Today,  they have come together and collaborated in raising exactly the same amount of funds from each chapter to ensure JC’s continued operation during the Corona crisis. Like the first part of JC’s motto, the 4 Alumni Associations which form the heart of the college, are ensuring   “Floreat Collegium” – Let the College Flourish.” said Judge Norman Hemming, Vice President of the Jamaica College Old Boy Association of Florida.

Photo source: Abnormal House

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