As Jamaicans at home and abroad celebrated 60 years of Independence on August 6, corporate giant Red Stripe added ‘beer’ excitement with the launch of its ‘6 for Sixty’ initiative for community development.
Through its philanthropic arm, the Desnoes and Geddes (D&G) Foundation, the company will be supporting six communities with $1 million each in celebration of Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee.
“As part of the HEINEKEN Company, we believe that when communities thrive, we all thrive. So we are rewarding projects that are impacting lives and enriching communities. It’s about fuelling community development in meaningful ways. There’s no better way to celebrate the journey and the progress we have made as a people since Independence,” said Dianne Ashton-Smith, Red Stripe’s head of corporate affairs.
The competition will reward two communities per county (Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey) with $1 million each. To vie for a share of the $6 million pool, community projects should be sports-related, environmentally focused, education or culture-based; and should be no less than three months old.
Entries, which should be made via video upload to social media, must show concepts or ideas that are already in train or can be successfully launched before the end of the year. The competition deadline is August 26 and details of the application process can be found @redstripecorporate on Instagram and Facebook.
According to Red Stripe, ‘6 for Sixty’ is another way of giving back to the community, even as the beer brand executes another Jamaica 60 beautification project in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport.
Ashton-Smith asserted that both initiatives represent a continuation of a long tradition of community support, through which the company has consistently added value as a leader in industry and commerce, creating jobs, and helping to grow the economy.
“For 100 years, Red Stripe has shown a deep commitment to Jamaica’s economic and social development. Beyond its financial impact on Jamaica, Red Stripe has demonstrated a strong commitment to communities through an impressive list of programmes designed to enrich lives through the D&G Foundation. These investments have amounted to over $200 million over the past 10 years.”
Among the most notable projects is the popular ‘Learning for Life’ skills training programme, which was first executed in 2008. The award-winning and globally recognised programme is implemented in collaboration with the HEART Trust NSTA and, to date, has provided regionally recognised certification for more than 15,000 young Jamaicans in areas such as bartending, hospitality, entertainment, and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, the D&G Foundation has consistently contributed in varying ways to 25 schools, two infirmaries, women and special needs centres; golden age and children’s homes and launched targeted initiatives such as ‘No Mind left Behind’ and the ‘Beer Love Academy’, which have provided mentorship, scholarships and learning opportunities to 1,500 students and young people.