AUDITING firm PwC Jamaica has committed $52 million to the work of Project STAR, a social and economic transformation initiative created by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) in partnership with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Bruce Scott, territory leader of PwC Jamaica, said that the donation represents a commitment by his organisation to improving communities and investing in the future of Jamaica.
“Project STAR aligns perfectly with our purpose of building trust in society and solving important problems, and PwC Jamaica is honoured to support the PSOJ and the JCF in this impactful endeavour,” said Scott.
“We are committed to fostering lasting impact in our communities through the contribution of our time, expertise and resources. We see this as an opportunity to invest in our nation’s future and we’re only too happy to contribute to this worthwhile initiative,” added Scott.
He disclosed that the commitment from PwC Jamaica includes the value of audit services beginning in 2023, community outreach, PwC internships and a financial donation of $5 million annually.
Saffrey Brown, project director of Project STAR, welcomed the contribution and underscored the importance of financial support to the initiative.
“We are happy for this contribution from PwC. Your support is invaluable and plays a crucial role in making our programme a resounding success,” said Brown.
“Your contribution will directly impact our ability to carry out a range of activities and initiatives in the communities that we are targeting,” added Brown.
Project STAR is a five-year social and economic transformation project that targets under-resourced, underserved communities experiencing high levels of crime or violence. Through a comprehensive consultation process, communities assist in determining their own needs, which are further supported by extensive data and analysis.
According to Brown, in just over a year, Project STAR has accomplished a lot.
In east downtown Kingston, several programmes have been rolled out including: a school feeding programme at four basic schools; sporting programmes such as weekly streetside football and basketball; community reasoning sessions; referrals to social protection programmes such as PATH and social pensions for the elderly; and psycho-social programmes such as youth camps.
Community Transformation Boards have been established to provide locally-driven design and oversight of the community transformation plan. Many residents have also been trained and placed in jobs through the Project STAR Employment Programme.
Meanwhile, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland Project STAR has introduced community reasoning sessions; training for job placements; and the establishment of a community infrastructure working group to address dilapidated infrastructure and drainage in the town.
Among the donors that have committed support to Project STAR are Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Scotiabank, Musson Foundation, CB Facey Foundation (PanJam), National Commercial Bank, Sandals Foundation, Sagicor Foundation, Sagicor Financial Company, Digicel Foundation, GraceKennedy, Supreme Ventures, Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, Restaurants Associates Limited, Rainforest Caribbean, Barita, Richard and Diana Stewart Foundation, American Friends of Jamaica, Carreras Limited, Mayberry Foundation, and Restaurants of Jamaica.