Christian Aid has been working in Jamaica since 1991. In 2012 we took the decision to phase out our programme on the island and, at the end of September 2013, our Jamaica office was closed.
However, until 2015, we will still be supporting two projects for which we have long-standing commitments.
What we have achieved
Over the last two decades we have supported a range of partners to respond to the issues that perpetrate inequality and poverty. This includes:
• Providing emergency relief to 10,000 people, and subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction work, following Hurricane Emily (2005) and Hurricane Dean (2007).
• Helping those vulnerable to natural disasters to protect their homes and livelihoods - for example, working with farmers to put in place early warning systems to give them time to protect their crops from storms.
• Training over 500 pastors and lay leaders to preach about HIV/AIDS in churches across the Caribbean.
• Supporting over 10,000 people to access healthcare, including immunisations, pre and postnatal sessions and voluntary HIV testing.
• Helping communities to lobby the Jamaican government for social and economic rights, such as health, education and housing.
• Running a public climate change education campaign with 31 well-known Jamaican musicians, who composed songs that they performed to schools and communities in all 14 parishes on the island.
• Reaching 500 young men from violent neighbourhoods and working with them on violence prevention, conflict resolution, remedial education and life skills.
This audio slideshow looks back at the partners and projects that Christian Aid has supported and celebrates the work we have achieved together over the past two decades.
Why we are phasing out
This podcast includes an interview with Andy Croggan - Christian Aid’s Head of Latin America and the Caribbean – who explains why the decision was made to phase out our work in Jamaica.
Christian Aid has two ongoing commitments in Jamaica until March 2015. They are:
• Support for a cyber centre run by partner Children First. The centre has a computer repair shop, which is creating jobs for young men who have been supported by the Male Awareness Now (MAN) project.
It also acts as an affordable internet café for the local community, opening up many opportunities for people by providing easy access to information.
The café will also be a sustainable income-generating facility for Children First to help cover operational costs and boost their financial security.
• A Christian education project, run by the United Theological College of the West Indies, to produce group education materials to promote healthy lifestyle practices among adolescents in Church schools and Sunday schools.
In Jamaica, 1.8% of the population are living with HIV/AIDS (in the UK this figure is 0.15%). The age-appropriate materials will help teachers and Sunday school leaders to address issues such as human sexuality, HIV/AIDS and human rights from a theological perspective.
We will also be continuing to work with some Jamaican partners through the ACT Caribbean Forum, of which we are a founding member.
Christian Aid would like to thank all of our Jamaican partners, both past and present, for their hard work, passion and dedication to ending poverty. We wish them all the best in their future work.
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