12-year-old US golfer fulfills promise, finances building of St Ann school

When the students of Chester Infant School in St Ann returned to begin the new school year last Monday, they found an entirely new school building.

That’s because during the summer, using funds donated by 12-year-old US golfer Rafe Cochran, Food For the Poor (FFP)-Jamaica built classrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, a sick bay, and an office.

The new building, which was handed over on September 1, makes for a more comfortable and spacious teaching and learning environment.

The infant department was added to Chester Primary School in 2015 after it became clear that parents could not afford to send their children to privately owned basic schools, a factor which impeded the children’s readiness for primary school. The only problem was, there was not enough space to accommodate it. So the school administration applied to FFP-Jamaica for a new school structure, which was approved.

The young golfer, who has been donating to programmes in Haiti since he was nine, raised the funds for the St Ann project from the Second Annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic in Palm Beach, Florida.

“I am so excited to be back in Jamaica with all of you,” said Rafe, who had visited the school back in March. “It was so rewarding to see the Chester Infant School come to life.”

In March, he saw the crowded conditions that the students experienced in their classrooms. On his return visit, he saw his vision for a better learning environment realised.

At the handover, Rafe reminded the students to keep their eyes on their goals and to be agents of change, despite their tender age.

“This school will change lives, and my advice to the students is to focus on your goals and never give up. You are never too young to take action and make a change in people’s lives,” he said.

Delane Bailey-Herd, senior field representative at FFP Inc, who has worked closely with FFP-Jamaica and Cochran, applauded the 12-year-old.

“Rafe, so far, has built nine houses in Haiti and he has also built this school through his funding. This is a young man who is dedicated and determined and inspires me to go on. He golfs with a purpose — to transform people’s lives,” she said.

Bailey-Herd recalled how Rafe became associated with FFP Inc.

“Three years ago, I visited Palm Beach Day Academy in Florida and I spoke to the third-grade class about being a world-changer and helping people,” she said. “Rafe, who was nine years old at the time, got up at the end of the class and said he wanted to help. He visited Food For The Poor’s head office sometime afterward and started contributing to the charity.”

Director of Region Three at the Ministry of Education Maxine Headlam thanked FFP for its assistance, saying, “Of all the schools that are built and funded by partners, those from Food For the Poor best meet our expectations in terms of reaching certification. When we receive a school built by Food For the Poor, we are at least 80 per cent at the readiness level for certification, as the building would have already met the required standards.”

Source: Jamaica Observer

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Cooper’s surge takes Knight Riders to title

Trinbago Knight Riders 136-7 (Cooper 29*, Ramdin 26*, Hafeez 2-19) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 135-6 (Brathwaite 30*, Carter 21, Cooper 2-12) by three wickets

A stunning late surge from the Trinbago Knight Riders turned a helter-skelter match on its head right at the death to seal their second Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title and deny St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in a thrilling final.

Chasing 136 the Knight Riders seemed down and out at 90 for 7 but Denesh Ramdin and Kevon Cooper kept the Knight Riders in the hunt, reducing the equation to 28 off 13 balls. It was then that Cooper exploded into life, launching a six over extra cover to ignite the contest once more.

A dramatic penultimate over bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus begun with two wides in the first three balls before a waist high no-ball was carved over cover for another six from Cooper. The ensuing free hit was hit for four through backward point and so too the ball after that. Two balls later Ramdin scampered a single to seal the win with an over remaining.

The Knight Riders run chase was derailed in the second over when they lost two wickets in two balls to the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell. First Sunil Narine’s poor form continued when he top edged a pull shot that was caught by the bowler. The very next ball the promoted Dwayne Bravo was brilliantly bowled by an in-swinging yorker.

Colin Munro breathed life into the run chase in the fifth over by hitting Mohammad Nabi for three straight sixes with mid-on and mid-off in the circle. The following over he tried the same thing to Mohammad Hafeez but with long-on back he couldn’t clear him and was caught. When Darren Bravo was trapped lbw by a delivery from Hafeez that skidded on what begun as a relatively straightforward run chase had been transformed with the Knight Riders 53 for 4 after 8.2 overs.

A brief partnership of 14 between Hamza Tariq and Ramdin stabilised the innings but Tariq soon fell for a torturous 16 off 22 balls when a leading edge off Tabraiz Shamsi was brilliantly caught by Brandon King diving forward at cover. After Dan Christian was run out and Javon Searles caught the Knight Riders were seven down, but their demise brought Cooper—the eventual hero—to the crease.

Earlier in the evening after being put into bat by the Knight Riders the Patriots innings saw a familiar rivalry resume between Chris Gayle and Ronsford Beaton. Gayle survived a testing first over but fell victim to the first ball of the second from Searles, driving uppishly to Yasir Shah at backward point for just one. The pressure of a tight start from the Knight Riders told in the fourth over when Mohammad Hafeez looked to hit the first boundary of the innings but picked out Dan Christian at mid off leaving the Patriots 11 for 2. Boundaries from Lewis and King gave the Patriots a fillip but they only managed 28 for 2 off the Powerplay.

A relaxation of the field restrictions brought no let up in the pressure from the Knight Riders who continued to keep things tight. In the eighth over Narine made the key breakthrough when he trapped Lewis lbw for just 16 off 16 balls. Things soon got worse for the Patriots when they lost King to the first ball of the tenth over: trapped lbw by Cooper and when Devon Thomas cut Cooper straight to Yasir at backward point the Patriots were 65 for 5.

With Narine bowling exceptionally from one end the Patriots couldn’t get away in the late middle overs. Narine finished with stunning figures of 1 for 8 and after 16 overs the Patriots were just 79 for 5.

Fortunately they had Carlos Brathwaite and Mohammad Nabi waiting in the wings. Seven boundaries in the final four overs of the innings lifted them to 135 for 6 with Brathwaite finishing 30 not out off 25 balls and Nabi 18 not out off 5 balls. The Knight Riders did not bowl badly at the death but Brathwaite and Nabi hit brilliantly, muscling full balls for boundaries on both sides of the ground. It was spectacular batting but less than two hours later it was upstaged by Cooper’s pyrotechnics.

DIGICEL RESTORATION WORK IN FULL SWING AS IRMA CONTINUES ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN

Friday 8th September 2017 – Kingston, Jamaica. As Hurricane Irma continues its devastating track across the Caribbean and on to Florida, Digicel has mobilised its 200 plus fleet of engineers, technicians and riggers to undertake the required network restoration work in the shortest time possible.

As some of the first people to arrive into the affected countries to activate the recovery work, the Digicel response teams were on the ground within a couple of hours of the all-clears being given. Progress by these teams has been swift and work continues around the clock with everything possible being done.

With many of the islands experiencing widespread damage and devastation, of equal importance is the humanitarian response; Digicel is working closely with Governments of the region and the disaster response agencies to establish the pressing needs are so that it can activate accordingly.

Hurricane Irma continues its progress and is currently active over the Turks and Caicos Islands with Hurricane Jose following a similar path close behind Irma and forecast to make landfall on Friday evening.

Commenting on the Digicel response, Caribbean and Central America CEO, Vanessa Slowey, said; “The impact of Irma has been devastating in a number of islands and our hearts go out to the people of the Caribbean. The message here is that we are on the ground, we are working tirelessly and we are doing everything humanly possible to restore services.”

She continues; “Equally, we are committed to helping the islands to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of these hurricanes. As we continue to manage the impact of Irma and anticipate the passage of Hurricane Jose swiftly behind it, we would like to assure the people of these islands that we stand with them now – and into the future.”

ENDS

About Digicel

Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and South Pacific. After 16 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

 

12-year-old US golfer builds St Ann infant school

When the students of Chester Infant School in St. Ann returned to begin the new school year on Monday, they were delighted to find an entirely new school building.

During the summer, Food For The Poor (FFP)-Jamaica built classrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, a sick bay and an office, funded through a generous donation from 12-year-old U.S. golfer Rafe Cochran.

The new building, which was handed over by FFP-Jamaica and Rafe on September 1, creates a more comfortable and spacious learning and teaching environment.

The Infant Department was added to Chester Primary School in 2015, after it became clear that parents could not afford to send their children to privately owned basic schools. This was impeding the children’s readiness for primary school. The inclusion of an Infant Department was deemed necessary, despite a shortage of space to accommodate it. Subsequently, the school administration applied to FFP-Jamaica for a new school structure, which was approved.

The young American golfer, who has been donating to programs in Haiti since he was 9, was happy to support this project. His donation was a result of his fundraising golf event, the Second Annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic in Palm Beach, Florida.

“I am so excited to be back in Jamaica with all of you,” said Rafe, who had visited the school back in March. “It was so rewarding to see the Chester Infant School come to life.”

In March, he saw the crowded conditions that the students faced in their classrooms. On his return visit, he saw his vision for a better learning environment realized.

At the handover, Rafe reminded the students to keep their eyes on their goals and to be agents of change, despite their tender age.

“This school will change lives, and my advice to the students is to focus on your goals and never give up,” Rafe said. “You are never too young to take action and make a change in people’s lives.”

Delane Bailey-Herd, Senior Field Representative at FFP Inc. who has worked closely with FFP-Jamaica and Rafe Cochran, applauded the 12-year-old golfer.

“Rafe, so far, has built nine houses in Haiti and he has also built this school through his funding. This is a young man who is dedicated and determined and inspires me to go on. He golfs with a purpose, to transform people’s lives,” she said.

Bailey-Herd recalled how Rafe became associated with FFP Inc.

“Three years ago, I visited Palm Beach Day Academy in Florida and I spoke to the third-grade class about being a world-changer and helping people,” she said. “Rafe, who was 9 years old at the time, got up at the end of the class and said he wanted to help. He visited Food For The Poor’s head office sometime afterward and started contributing to the charity.”

Maxine Headlam, Regional Director of Region 3 at the Ministry of Education, thanked FFP for its assistance, saying, “Of all the schools that are built and funded by partners, those from Food For The Poor best meet our expectations in terms of reaching certification. When we receive a school built by Food For The Poor, we are at least 80 percent at the readiness level for certification, as the building would have already met the required standards.”

Source: Loop News

Food For The Poor Trains Budding Musicians

Food for the Poor (FFP) Jamaica’s Summer Band Camp has trained 56 young people to play a variety of musical instruments, including the drum, saxophone, flute, trumpet, clarinet and trombone. At the camp’s graduation ceremony, participants were gifted with the instruments they had learnt to play.

The three-week Summer Band Camp, which started in July and ended on August 16, took place daily on the grounds of the charity organisation’s head office in Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine.

Now in its 13th year, the annual Summer Band Camp hosts students between 12 and 16 years of age. The initiative was spearheaded by the Prison Ministry Department, which includes Jeffrey Brown, band camp instructor, who gave one-on-one training to the students.

 

Pleasure

 

“It is a pleasure to educate the minds of young Jamaicans and teach them a skill in the field of music, which they can capitalise on and start their careers,” Brown said.

He added that he encouraged the students to continue practicing with the instruments they were given and also play at their churches and in their school bands so as to enhance their talents.

“It is said that, ‘Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’ In light of this, we taught each student how to play their individual instruments of choice, and it is my hope that they will use them for a lifetime to their benefit and that of their families,” he said.

David Mair, executive director, FFP Jamaica, in his remarks at the graduation ceremony, gave the students a motivational talk. Mair challenged them to continue practicing what they were taught while building on their proficiencies.

“Learning to play an instrument isn’t easy. These students will be leaving with unlimited musical possibilities. They’ve learned not only how to make music on their instruments, but also how to read music. They’ve learned how to play together as a musical group, proper band etiquette and discipline and, most of all, how to practise and persevere,” Mair said.

Also present at the graduation ceremony was Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser, who encouraged the students and thanked Food For The Poor for the impact being made in the lives of youngsters from volatile communities through music.

On Saturdays, each month after the graduation ceremony, a subsection of the band camp with approximately 30 students will receive traditional training at Food For The Poor’s office to further enhance their skills.

 

Source: The Gleaner

FFP pays school fees for nearly 300

Nearly 300 students from basic to tertiary institutions across the island had their back-to-school expenses, such as textbooks and/or tuition fees, covered or paid in part this year thanks to charitable donations from Food for the Poor.

Among the awardees, who totalled 299, was Chante Williams, a student at Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls.

“This has helped me a lot to acquire most necessities for back-to-school, such as to purchase books,” she said.

“This is very important for a student. You need your books to analyse and really comprehend the subjects you are being taught. So, I would like to say thank you to Food for the Poor and its donors for creating this programme to aid children such as myself to succeed.”

As it did with hers, the recipients’ faces told of joy and hope as they collected their cheques from David Mair, executive director of the local arm of the NGO, and Craig Moss-Solomon, a director.

Samantha Barrett, who has two children who were awarded back-to-school grants, related her emotions when she was informed about the grant.

“The day when I got my children’s book lists, I waved it in the air and I said, ‘God, you are their heavenly father, so I am looking to you to provide for them’. In the afternoon, I got a call from Food for the Poor about the back-to-school programme and what I needed to provide,” Barrett reported.

“I started to jump up and down because I was wondering where I would get the money from. It is two children; I am self-employed and it’s very challenging, financially. The help from Food for the Poor eases the stress of back-to-school. It has been a blessing for me to be part of this programme overall, because I have benefitted from the organisation before in the area of health care. Thank God for Food for the Poor and donors for stepping in and assisting,” the mother added.

The presentations were made at Food for the Poor-Jamaica’s Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine office on Friday, August 25.

“None of this would have been possible without the consistent generosity of our donors, sourced through our head office, Food for the Poor Incorporated,” said Mair.

He urged the awardees to be good stewards of the gift.

“Study hard, stay focused and make us proud by maintaining an ‘A’ or ‘B’ average at all times,” he told them.

He also challenged their parents to encourage the children.

“Help them, where you can. Ask about assignments and become actively involved in their lives,” he advised.

Food for the Poor-Jamaica has been administering its back-to-school programme for more than 20 years and has seen what it describes as great academic achievement from awardees. The organisation has pledged to remain committed to the educational development of children across Jamaica.

Source: Jamaica Observer