Thu | Oct 21, 2021

JWN Foundation invests $25 million more in communities

Published:Tuesday | September 28, 2021 | 12:11 AM
Chairman of JWN Foundation Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence with 2019 scholarship awardees.
Chairman of JWN Foundation Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence with 2019 scholarship awardees.
CEO of the JWN Foundation (JWNF), Tanikie McClarthy Allen (left), shares career advancement advice during a development workshop with JWNF tertiary scholars.
CEO of the JWN Foundation (JWNF), Tanikie McClarthy Allen (left), shares career advancement advice during a development workshop with JWNF tertiary scholars.
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J. Wray and Nephew Foundation (JWNF), the outreach arm of J. Wray and Nephew Limited (JWN), has this year provided more than 400 scholarships and financial grants to students in communities across Jamaica.

The 204 scholarships and 212 scholastic grants, including 62 awards tenable at tertiary institutions, 50 community scholarships and 38 awards to dependents of Camparistas, represent a fulfilment of a promise by JWNF and JWN to provide more than 200 scholarships valued at more than $35 million this year.

Tanikie McClarthy Allen, chief executive officer of JWNF and senior director of public affairs and sustainability at JWN, said the awards reflect the organisations’ commitment to transforming lives and communities for a better Jamaica through education.

“This is an investment in the communities where, over the years, we have shared our production and cultivation operations, and in the greatest assets and most precious resources of these communities – their people. The young Jamaicans who benefit from the programme exemplify the very best of their communities and are the embodiment of the hopes and aspirations for the future,” McClarthy Allen said of the community awards.

She noted that in helping to give wings to those dreams that sustain the vibrant spirit of the people, their communities and our country, the JWNF Scholarship Programme continues to grow, providing assistance to hundreds of children and young adults to attend secondary and tertiary institutions. This initiative, she said, is particularly timely against the background of the challenges created for individuals, families, communities and the society in general by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The accompanying dislocations in employment for many, and in the education system, pose significant obstacles for students in their quest to scale the heights of educational achievement at this time,” the JWNF CEO observed, noting that JWN was empowering these young Jamaicans to excel despite the obstacles.

“In continuing to extend our corporate social responsibility in this area, JWNF and JWN are playing our part as responsible stakeholders and are reaffirming our long-term commitment to the sustainable development of the communities we serve, as well as renewing our pledge to work for the stability and growth of the Jamaican nation and economy,” she asserted.

NEW ELEMENTS TO PROGRAMME

The programme has been expanded this year to include a new vocational and technical education element. The new scholarships, tenable at technical training institutes, recognise the importance and desirability of alternative pathways to professional certification and career advancement.

The 2021-2022 scholarships and grants, valued at $25.75 million, are part of more than 1,000 awards valued at more than $71 million already provided under the JWNF Scholarship Programme since the launch of the revamped programme in 2016. The increasing number and growing value of the awards reflect JWNF’s and JWN’s continued support for education, according to McClarthy Allen.

The number of awards represent a significant increase from 14 awards made at the start of the programme in 2014.

Some 81 per cent of vocational awardees are pursuing training in food, beverage and hospitality services, which the JWNF CEO said augurs well for the post-pandemic recovery of the sector in which JWN and Campari operate.

The scholarship programme is an essential component of the contributions of JWN and Campari to Jamaica and particularly to persons living in communities where JWN sugar cane-growing, alcohol distillation and rum ageing operations are based. These communities include Olympic Way, Riverton Meadows, Majesty Gardens, Waterhouse and Seaview Gardens in Kingston; Gimme-Me-Bit, Race Course, Water Lane and Vernamfield in Clarendon; and Holland, Siloah, Maggotty, Thornton and Balaclava in St Elizabeth.

“Continued investment in the education of the children and young adults of our operational communities is important for the long-term development of these localities. The JWN Foundation is pleased to be assisting in this way as part of our steadfast commitment to our guiding principle of transforming lives and communities for a better Jamaica,” McClarthy Allen said.

She added that the integration of academic awards to dependents of JWN staff, or Camparistas, into the JWN Scholarship Programme is a noteworthy development that highlights the importance the company places on its staff.

“The scholarships and academic grants are part and parcel of the sustainable development opportunities and support that we provide to our employees,” she pointed out.

This year, 38 Camparista Dependent Scholars, including 26 at the secondary level and 12 attending tertiary institutions, were identified and awarded. They have received awards valued at more than $3 million. Applications were received from Camparistas based at the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience and Appleton Factory in St Elizabeth, New Yarmouth in Clarendon, and Spanish Town Road, Kingston locations, spanning a diversity of job functions encompassing all areas of the JWN operations.

JWNF has committed to expand the scholarship programme nationally in 2022.