Mayberry Foundation gifts $10 million to Project STAR

THE Mayberry Foundation has added its financial muscles to Project STAR, the social and economic transformation initiative created by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

In affirming its commitment to fostering positive change in communities across Jamaica, the Mayberry Foundation has donated $10 million to Project STAR.

The money will be disbursed over four years in tranches of $2.5 million annually. This infusion of capital will propel Project STAR’s multi-faceted initiatives, aimed at revitalising marginalised communities and driving comprehensive socio-economic growth.

The announcement was made during a recent Mayberry Investor Update, showcasing Project STAR’s mission and progress.

Keith Duncan, project sponsor of Project STAR, expressed his gratitude for the Mayberry Foundation’s support and shared insights into the far-reaching impact of the collaboration.

In the meantime Chris Berry, executive chairman of Mayberry Investments, used the opportunity to express his unwavering conviction in the power of transformative change.

“Project STAR emerges as an unparalleled embodiment of comprehensive initiative, a programme of unmatched scale that I have ever witnessed. As an individual firmly rooted in the belief that every challenge holds a solution, I am resolute in my support. Inspired by my brother Keith’s decision to embark on this ambitious journey.

“It is worth noting that the Duncan family is renowned for its ethos of compassion. We have long been champions of aiding others, and with this collaboration, we extend our efforts to amplify our impact, benefiting not only ourselves but the broader community. Our commitment stands resolute at 100 per cent,” said Berry.

He underscored that despite the Mayberry Foundation’s modest size, it is unwavering in its resolve to achieve an impact that transcends expectations.

“While our foundation may be small in scale, it consistently punches above its weight. Often, we find ourselves being compared to entities of a different league, a comparison that doesn’t truly reflect our dedication. With just 130 employees at Mayberry, we have consistently defied conventional expectations. And now, we’re stepping up yet again. This marks one of the most significant contributions we’ve made this year.

“Our well wishes extend to Keith and the entire Jamaican community engaged in the mission of Project STAR. We envision a community where all capable individuals come forward — those with skills, time or financial resources. Keith stands ready to impart his expertise, nurturing a wave of positive change. As for those with financial means, the opportunity for meaningful impact is substantial. The return on investment in this endeavour is poised to stand among the highest in Jamaica’s history,” added Berry.

Project STAR, a visionary endeavour jointly led by the PSOJ and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, encompasses strategic partnerships with various government entities, community-based organisations and private sector stakeholders. This collective effort aims to transform low-resourced communities by addressing critical social and economic challenges in a holistic and sustainable manner.

“The Mayberry Foundation’s important contribution reaffirms the team’s commitment to the betterment of Jamaica and underscores their role as a driving force behind positive change,” said Duncan in his address to the Mayberry Investor Update.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Mayberry Foundation as a signature donor, and this support will undoubtedly advance our vision of vibrant, thriving communities,” added Duncan, who is also co-chair of the Oversight Board of Project STAR.

Duncan emphasised the importance of a comprehensive approach as he declared, “Our focus is not only on social interventions but also on fostering economic empowerment. By partnering with organisations such as the Mayberry Foundation, we can create an ecosystem that enables micro and small businesses to flourish, stimulating economic activity and ensuring long-term sustainability.”

The event showcased the initiatives already under way in the eastern end of downtown Kingston, where Project STAR has been operational for just over eight months, with substantial achievements in areas such as childhood education, skills development, employment creation and social cohesion.

As Project STAR expands its reach from downtown Kingston to additional communities such as Sav-la-Mar, Westmoreland and May Pen, Clarendon, the vision of catalysing socio-economic transformation is gaining momentum and it is expected that the contribution from the Mayberry Foundation’s will play a pivotal role in driving this transformation throughout communities across Jamaica.