Jamaica News, Hanover: Hanover Charities Disburses 61 million – More than 200 tertiary students, schools and community groups across Hanover, were awarded grant funding and equipment at the Hanover Charities awards ceremony at the Round Hill hotel in the parish on Thursday.
The number included close to 100 new scholarship recipients, all of whom shared in the approximately $61 million which was raised for that purpose earlier this year.
In presenting her report at the ceremony, Chairman of the organization, Katrin Casserly, said the charity will see to the completion of computer laboratories at four primary schools in Western Hanover this year, as well as a collaborative project with the Green Island Primary School where a new multi-purpose hall and classrooms will be constructed.
“We appreciate our collaboration to work as a team but most importantly to equip our students from a young age with facilities that are necessary in 2019 for them to grow, learn and prosper,” she said.
“We at Hanover Charities believe that the partnerships between government, private sector and NGO’s are essential for our nation’s growth to build a better Jamaica for us all. With these generous donations which have been entrusted to us at Hanover Charities, we are able to slowly, one by one project make the gap smaller between the haves and have not’s through education,” Mrs. Casserly added.
Keynote speaker and Director of the University of the West Indies Western Jamaica Campus (UWIWJC) Dr. Patrick Prendergast, said Hanover Charities is doing what he described as big things in a poorly resourced parish such as Hanover.
“Over the last five years, some US$500,000 has been donated to education alone; benefiting some 125 students per year. That is definitely big things from a small organization… it seems like a drop in the bucket but for this country and this parish they are making a big splash,” Dr. Prendergast said.
“Some 125 young persons are benefiting each year…we are talking about 450 regular tuition fees each year; but what I really want us to note is the long term impact. In the last five years Hanover Charities could have produced approximately 12 doctors or 30 nurses or 30 teachers or 30 social workers,” he added.
Dr. Prendergast urged the recipients to not only show gratitude on the day of the awards ceremony, but to fully embrace the responsibility that comes with being a beneficiary of the charity.
The University administrator said without the organization, many youngsters would have lost the opportunity to become active productive professionals across the occupational spectrum.
“Imagine a parish without a charitable organization in this country and you are imagining more run down libraries, even more dilapidated infirmaries, or an even more unsafe school playgrounds,” he said.
Hanover Charities was founded by the late Custos of Hanover Willie DeLisser in 1957 after he, brought together the shareholders of Round Hill and Tryall to form the organisation’s first board of directors. Registered in the United States as a 501C-3 organisation, it has the distinction of being the largest charitable organisation in Western Jamaica. It has raised funds, throughout the decades, through a myriad of fundraising efforts, chief among them the Sugar Cane Ball which is held at the Round Hill Hotel in February each year.
The mission of the organisation is to improve the health, welfare and education of citizens of Hanover, by, among other things, financing school-feeding programmes and upgrading and constructing facilities such as health centres and educational institutions. Through its Morris-Watkins Scholarships, it also covers tuition fees for promising tertiary students who are unable to pay.