Team of Youth Leaders Contribute to Haiti Relief Efforts

Date Published: 
Friday, January 27, 2017

The Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme (JaYAP), National Youth Council of Jamaica (NYCJ) , and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs), in partnership with The University of the West Indies (Mona) Students Today Ambassadors Tomorrow (UWI STAT), Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS) and the National Secondary Students' Council (NSSC), embarked on a coordinated national youth-led approach to facilitating a response to the Haiti Post Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.

The project was dubbed "HANDS AND HEARTS FOR HAITI - JAMAICA" - with the clear definition being A Coalition of Youth Leaders of Jamaica Offering Practical Assistance to Haiti in its Post Hurricane Matthew Recovery Process.

Each partner organization committed to leading the collection of different categories of items and cash, as per the specified needs of our brothers and sisters in Haiti, as they seek to "get back on their feet". We were very mindful that various persons and groups were interested in helping, and as such, we sought to do so in a unified way, so the effort could be one of strength and substance via this coordinated approach.

On January 27th 2017, the Project Management Team presented the first set of items collected for Haiti, to the Office of Disaster, Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). The packages consisted of canned food items and bottles of water. This handing over took place on November 1, 2016 – the day on which the ODPEM made its final collection of kind items for shipment, as they prepared to shift focus to collecting donations in cash for rebuilding Haiti.


Terisa Thompson Hands and hearts for Haiti donation to Food for the Poor
Terisa Thompson, Hands and Hearts for Haiti Project Chairperson makes a presentation to Mr. David Mair from Food for the Poor at the Handing Over Ceremony held on January 27, 2017


We continued receiving donations of items in kind, such as canned foods, toiletries, bottled drinking water, weighted food items including rice, flour, sugar, etc., baby foods, clothing, blankets/sheets and medical supplies. These items were dropped off at our main collection points in each parish which included some of our Youth Information Centres (YICs) across the island. The items were collected from across the island and transported to our central storage unit provided by the National Youth Service (NYS). We thank the NYS for their continued support, lending their support since last November 2016.

Persons were also able to donate cash to this initiative, in acknowledgment of the fact that monetary needs remained greatest - to aid in the rebuilding of the economy. The NSSC and the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Program was very instrumental in this regard and have aided significantly in raising a significant portion of the sums to be presented today. We thank the NYCJ for allowing the use of their bank account in his regard as well.

We wish to express heartfelt thanks to the members of the public, particularly young people who have stretched forth their hands in partnership with us, by contributing to this initiative, and also salute the Food For the Poor (FFP) who are partnering with us to facilitate the shipping of these items to our neighbouring Haitian brothers and sisters, as they continue to rebuild, post-Hurricane Matthew.