The much talked about football season came to its close in December. The under 13 football league final was a show down between two of our very outstanding sports placements; Villa Road Primary and Junior High and Bethabara Primary and Junior High. The sports volunteers who were respectively placed at both schools since September and those joining after, worked assiduously with the teams.
Despite the myriad challenges faced by Villa Road; the late start for training because of the lack of resources, they proved a worthy opponent to Bethabara who were a bit more fortunate with resources and more volunteers who assisted in coaching the team. Despite’s Villa Road’s challenges they had an impressive 1-0 victory over Bethabara. The celebrations after was as though a team had not lost as both team’s accomplishments were celebrated by each other.
The only volunteer who was left at Bethabara at the time of the finals was Thomas Daschinger from Germany and he was able to reap the fruits of his labour when his team that he helped to coach reached the finals. I had the privilege of watching both teams during my placement visits and they were absolutely amazing. It was a showcase of pure professional potential.
The placement supervisors Masseurs Daily and Smith from Bethabara and Villa Road respectively lauded the efforts of their volunteers, who treated the training sessions not as just mere volunteering but as their passion and love. To Michael, Thomas (Bethabara) and Anders and Marcel (Villa Road) I say hats off, a job well done.
By the holiday break for school, an alternative project was arranged for Felizitas (Villa Road) and Wout (Bethabara) who had arrived just days before the holiday. They were placed at The Care Centre nursery. They worked with the toddlers to develop their motor skills. Each day they do one hour of indoor activities and another hour of outdoor activities. The volunteers’ days with the toddlers are a handful but at the same time a bundle of joy.
The total number of volunteers this time around stands at: six medicine volunteers, three at the Percy Junor Hospital, two at the Manchester Health Department and one at the Mandeville Regional Hospital. Activities at the placements had scaled down a lot during the December period, it’s as though the season brought with it so much joy and cheer that people tended not to get sick.
Only two project meetings were held, and they were well attended by the medicine volunteers. On December 01, volunteers completed a questionnaire to assess the worthwhile tasks at their placements. The feedback from volunteers was good, the suggestions made will be used to enhance the activities in which volunteers will be involved in at their placements. At the other Project Meeting we looked a little at Stress and Stress Management. The volunteers created a poster for the Manchester Health department to inform the public of Stress and Stress Management Techniques.
Sanikia travelling- France
Projects Abroad Jamaica takes this prime moment to introduce a new “lioness” to the existing pride of women who already work towards perfecting the operations of Projects Abroad Jamaica by executing their duties with precision and an appreciation for teamwork. Sanikia Powell is a perfect fit as one of her passions is meeting new people- convenient for the nature of the job. In addition to meeting new persons she is fond of travelling, is an extrovert and considers herself a born leader. Having described herself as outspoken it is far from surprising that she loves debates and other forms of oratorical presentations. Her platform is education and youth development, considering her new role at Projects Abroad Jamaica as the Volunteer Liaison Officer she is sure to be multi-tasking as she works to support her personal causes as well as her professional cause. When gifted with precious free time she enjoys the novelty of just relaxing and reading a good book. Welcome Sanikia it’s a pleasure having you at Projects Abroad Jamaica. She also speaks fluent French and Spanish.
Past music volunteer with students at Mc Intosh
The Mc Intosh Memorial School serves as one Projects Abroad Jamaica’s solid placements for teaching volunteers, the school also acts as a placement for music volunteers. Volunteers have taught music to the students of McIntosh and have found the experience to be rewarding.
Today the Mc Intosh Memorial is hoping that the number of volunteers arriving for the music project will increase. This wish comes in light of the newly established partnership with the Ministry of education and the First Global Investment to use music to enhance literacy and numeracy. The initiative, Dubbed: ‘Music- Perfect Pitch for a Sound Education’, the initiative, which is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and First Global, will see music being used as the driving force behind this literacy thrust, is aimed at Grade Three students in six primary schools across the island, through the introduction of music as a part of their curriculum. The schools are: John Rollins Success Primary and Bickersteth Primary, St. James; McIntosh Memorial, Manchester; Central Branch All-Age; and Duhaney Park Primary and Seaward Primary and Junior High, in Kingston.
“Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GraceKennedy Financial Group, Courtney Campbell said the programme’s curriculum, which will last for a year in the initial stage, will focus on using music as the main tool to drive integration, and to teach literacy and numeracy skills, in particular.
“Children who are not able to read fall prey to a vicious cycle, where they move through the school system without ever fully being able to grasp what is being taught. These children then leave school, gain few, if any, exam qualifications, and then find themselves in a situation where they cannot find productive employment, or even move on to further studies,” he argued.
President, First Global Bank, Maureen Hayden-Cater said the students will be tested at the beginning and at intervals throughout the lifespan of the programme, noting that this will allow for monitoring the progress and success of the initiative.” (Wednesday, 28 September 2011 17:06
Written by JIS)
As such Mc Intosh Memorial is even more enthusiastic to receive Projects Abroad volunteers to be a part of this phenomenal initiative. They are hoping that the volunteers will be able to bring their skills and knowledge and work with the children to achieving this national goal.
Wout Koerhuis is a fascinating two-month hard-working volunteer from the Netherlands. He is working at the Bethabara Primary and Junior High School on the Sports Project. Wout always has a hilarious tale to tell, but do not be fooled by his humour he is serious about his work and aims to make a solid mark. He wants to bring the skills he acquired in Holland to share with the children here in Jamaica. Being a skilful football player, he caught the eye of his placement supervisor; Mr. Daley and has been invited to play football with a local team at Brooks Park a few evenings in each week- he even has an upcoming football match.
Christian Badke hails from Germany, he is another sports volunteer who helps out at the Villa Road Primary School and will be spending three months on the Sports Project. His talents are not displayed only on the court but on the dance floor as well – he has the Jamaican moves secured. Christian similar to Wout has been invited to play for a local Jamaican sports team, only this time it’s on the basketball court. Christian trains with the team a few evenings and will help the team in securing victories in various competitions.
Their stories should send the message that volunteers can be an all-rounder in their volunteering experiences- Wout and Christian they are not limited to only the work that goes on at the placements but they are also immersing themselves in the culture and bonding with Jamaicans. This should encourage all volunteers participating on the Projects Abroad programme to extend themselves beyond what is required and just have fun doing it!
The year 2012 is like a fortune teller’s ball; we peek in and see that the volunteers are working extremely hard at Projects Abroad Jamaica and like the fortune teller we can predict it’s going to be productive year for the volunteers and our placement partners.
This blog features Blake Forrester a second time volunteer at Projects Abroad Jamaica. Blake arrived on July 19, 2010 as a tall and somewhat reserved teenager with a secretive crooked smile, he arrived as part of twenty-seven two weeks specials in Jamaica to have a pivotal experience. Blake previously worked on the Care Project at the Windsor Lodge Children’s Home.
He arrived in Jamaica for the second time he arrived in Jamaica on December 12, 2012 to volunteer on the care and the culture and community projects, The Children’s Place and the building project.
Blake also brought along one of his friends, Matt Heath to share in this worthwhile experience. Matt also ensured that part of his time in Jamaica was spent visiting his old placement- The Windsor Lodge Children’s Home- he wanted to visit the children and take gifts for them.
He is now gaining some muscles on the building project and is enjoying every minute of it. Blake is at home in Jamaica and has developed a good relationship with a few Jamaicans- he gets the Jamaican culture and had no problem adjusting a second time around.
Like other volunteers he takes the weekend for wider exploration of Jamaica visiting many of the other parishes and enjoying the sights and sounds. Blake is also highly participative in social activities.
Blake at dance class (San Francisco T-shirt)
Good to have you back Blake and also promoting the Projects Abroad programme to your friends- thanks Matt for following Blake’s good example. Have a wonderful Jamaican experience!
Let me take this opportunity to share with the My Trip Blog community a new concept here in Jamaica. We now have our “Jamrock volunteers swag signatures 2012 board”- this board is placed in the volunteers’ lounge, and adds a different and ‘cute’ touch to the room. The board was conceptualized by the Country Director who tasked the Social Manager with sourcing the board and seeing to its reality (a professional sign entity was sourced in making the board). The idea was to have the graffiti of departing volunteers’ on display in an artistic and permanent way.
The board now stands ink/mark free, eagerly awaiting the cool signings of the hard working departing volunteers who have amassed quite a wealth of experience here in Jamaica. Staff eagerly awaits the outcome too- of course we will be all too happy to share with you guys an update and picture of the finished product. Volunteers now have the opportunity to have an opportunity outside of their work to create their very own badge of honour; their signature will stand as a lasting imprint of what they have accomplished here in Jamaica on a volunteering experience.
1/2 ounce Cherry Brandy
1 ounce Coconut Rum
1 ounce Orange Juice
1 ounce Apple Juice
1/4 ounce Lime Juice
1/4 ounce Sugar Syrup
Put all ingredients in mixing can.
Serve over crushed ice.
Pastor's Business Card
A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners in Tivoli Garden. At one house
it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his
repeated knocks at the door.
Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the
back of it and stuck it in the door.
When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his
card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, 'Genesis
Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of
laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'
Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for
I was naked.'
Sometimes we need a reminder about important things; in this world of technological and globalised clutter we tend to forget even the simplest things, one would imagine that we should make a note of it somewhere, a phone reminder or even a diary entry but many times we fail to remember to remind ourselves.
As such I have fixed up a little reminder for the Projects Abroad volunteers who have decided to give of themselves selflessly- remind yourselves of this charge daily.
A volunteer is a person who voluntarily [freely by state of one’s will] offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking, as such you have tapped into what many of us fail to discover after years on traversing the universe, the power and passion of selflessness. You are a unique element of nature, boldly defying what many have defined as ‘man’ a self-sustaining beast. Nothing else matters to you but the soul stirring release that comes with helping others. You will not be swayed by the masses who continue to say, “but why?” fret not at the constructed bewilderment secretly they are awed- a longing has surfaced within them to be like you. Continue to be bold and stay true to your awesome self-discovery, you are greatly rewarded each time you serve- no monetary compensation closely measures. You are like a mighty Viking, African King or a mighty priestess of Avalon take great pride in your power and continue on your quest for greatness.
“In doing your best serving others for free, a lot of eyebrows will raise and sneers will curve many a-faces. But in the end those incredulous to what you put up with to help, no longer matter. It's not between you and those snobs, but with whom you have given your hand to lift, and of course to God who is watching and noting it in your book.” _ Inspired by Mother Teresa
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