European Union (EU) in partnership with Running Events Jamaica on Wednesday handed over almost $1.3 million to the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, an education non-profit to fund the participation of 25 students from Kingston High School in a July 2023 literacy summer camp.
The donation fulfils one of the commitments made when the EU staged the inaugural European Union-Jamaica 5K Race on March 12 in downtown Kingston.
The summer camp is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY) and Creative Language-Based Learning, aiming to improve students’ academic performance and their chances for a better quality of life.
It contributes to the MOEY-and-Ministry of National Security-led Inter-Ministerial Schools’ Support Strategy and the broader Citizen Security Plan of the Government of Jamaica, which is supported by the EU.
The strategy was developed to strengthen services specifically in schools located within zones of special operations. These schools have identified literacy as a crucial issue to be addressed to improve academic performance, safety, and security.
Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams, who was among the participants in the race, had high praises for the event.
“It was a delight to participate in the actual event which was held in downtown Kingston, and to know that the funds are to benefit students made the event even more significant,” said Williams as she added that she is looking forward to participating again next year.
EU Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, while stressing that the main aim of the EU-JA 5K road race was to mobilise residents around the idea that citizen security is everybody’s business, was enthusiastic about the opportunity it provided for partnering with the Jamaican people to give tangible support to boost the education of children who live in difficult circumstances.
“I want to thank wholeheartedly the over 2,000 persons who participated in this race. I hand over these funds on your behalf, for it is through your support that these students are being provided an opportunity to maintain and advance learning during the summer period in preparation for the new school year.”
The EU’s support to the Government’s Citizen Security Programme seeks to contribute to the improvement of the security environment and the promotion of social inclusion in Jamaican communities within the context of the citizen security plan. Under the programme, the EU is providing Jamaica with â‚¬20 million or $3.5 billion over a four-year period.
“The EU’s support to Jamaica’s Citizen Security Plan focuses on mitigating those factors which encourage crime and make people vulnerable to it. We share with Jamaicans the strong belief that education is the key to unlocking human potential and so I am pleased to make this contribution that will help to reinstate these children at the appropriate literacy level when school resumes and open the doors to a bright future for them,” said Van Steen.