The Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) recently presented cheques totaling $384,668.95 to the Ministry of Education and Youth and two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in support of their ongoing initiatives.
The sum, accumulated from donations via the JSSE’s platform, represents additional funding for interventions by entities that target vulnerable persons.
A cheque in the sum of $254,168.95 was presented to Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, towards the ‘One Tablet or One Laptop Per Child’ initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide within the education sector, by providing at least 100,000 needy students with the requisite tools to facilitate information and communications technology (ICT)-based learning.
More than $2.3 million has, so far, been raised by the JSSE in collaboration with the Ministry and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) towards the initiative. In addition, Mustard Seed Communities Jamaica received $80,500 to aid in providing personal hygiene items for the adults and children housed at their apostolates.
JSSE Manager, Nora Blake, indicated that consequent on funding challenges that Mustard Seed experienced, the entity went to market seeking public support, through donations.
The JSSE was able to initially raise almost $2 million. “Massy Distributors was our major partner in that effort, contributing $1.5 million in kind,” she pointed out.
This earned the company special acknowledgement as Top Donor at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) 17th regional investments and capital markets conference in January, during which Massy cross-listed on the stock exchange. Meanwhile, the St Ann-based Teen Challenge Jamaica received $50,000 to bolster the organisation’s needs, which are focused on addressing addiction issues among young people.
The entity has a small farm with a poultry operation and vegetable cultivation, from which produce is sold to the local hotel industry. This was bolstered by the JSSE’s initial handover of funds during the onslaught of COVID-19.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it had curtailed activities in tourism. The social-sector organisation was then faced with a serious cash flow problem with the possibility of having to close the venture, which would have affected the project’s mission,” Ms. Blake outlined. She advised that the JSSE went to the market and was able to raise an initial $1.5 million for the organisation.
The JSSE has raised just under $50 million for charities and special assistance appeals since its establishment in 2019. A subsidiary of the JSE, it was created to mobilise resources into the social sector as well as facilitate stakeholder capacity-building and the supporting ecosystem’s overall developmen