Two million face masks, valued at approximately $130 million, have been handed over to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Health and Wellness, and Education, Youth, and Information.
The donation is a gift from The Jarrett Foundation, with support from the Ketan Makwana Foundation and Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, and Dr. Lola Ramocan, Patron of the Foundation.
Government Ministers, and Philanthropist and CEO of The Jarrett Foundation, Dr. Pearl Jarrett, who was instrumental in getting the masks, participated in an official handing over ceremony on July 15, at the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, 2 Port Royal Street, Downtown Kingston.
Dr. Jarrett, a member of the UK Diaspora, said she is happy to use her expertise and to partner with other donors to be of service to Jamaica.
“This is now our base in the world and this is our home. We are happy about that,” she said, adding that the people who give have no connections to Jamaica.
Expressing appreciation, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the donation is “absolutely timely,” while noting that the Education Ministry is now preparing to have face-to-face classes in the new school year.
“It could not come at a better time, so we thank you. We thank the Jarrett Foundation. We thank the Ketan Makwana Foundation and other partners to pull this incredible gift together,” she said.
Senator Johnson Smith noted that the Diaspora has supported the Government’s response and recovery efforts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by making donations through the COVID-19 Telethon.
She said that the Diaspora continues to contribute to Jamaica through the National Education Trust, the Health and Wellness Foundation, and by providing teaching and learning resources.
The Senator stated that the masks will not only be distributed through the Ministries but also through Non-Governmental Organisations, community groups, and churches.
She applauded the work being done by Dr. Jarrett and the Foundation in the fight against COVID-19.
The Jarrett Foundation has already delivered over $45 million worth of school furniture in the form of desks and chairs, 27,000 exercise books, and teaching resources worth approximately $5 million.
Also attending the handover were: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; State Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Leslie Campbell, and Acting Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Youth & Information, Dr. Kasan Troupe.
WRITTEN BY: E. HARTMAN RECKORD
Source: JIS Source