Jamacian Hurricaine Relief Project 1988-1989
 

1988-1989 The Jamaican Hurricane Relief Project From Tin Roofs to School Books 

 

When Hurricane Gilbert hit the island of Jamaica in September of 1988, The Rotary Club of Simcoe formed the District 709 (now 7090) Jamaica Hurricane Relief Fund. An organization in Simcoe made a contribution and the club decided to double the contribution because of the great respect our members held for the Jamaican Workers who come to harvest agricultural crops in our area. A decision was made at that time to focus our assistance on the Montego Bay area as many of these workers come from the villages surrounding Montego Bay.
 
Map of Jamaica
 
The Rotary Club of Montego Bay was contacted and it was suggested that there was a crying need in Jamaica for Zinc Sheets (Galvanized Sheeting) as thousands of people had lost their roofs as a result of Hurricane Gilbert.
 
Hurricane Gilbert
 
An objective for the district was set of $50,000. The club decided to ask for a maximum special grant from Rotary International of $50,000 U.S. It was also decided to contact the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to arrange funding if possible. This committee acts as a liaison between Canadian Rotary Clubs and CIDA. Donations poured in from all over the district. A tractor-trailer load of clothing was sent to Toronto for distribution in Jamaica. Donations came from other Rotary Districts.
On February 24, 1989, CIDA advised us that large quantities of Zinc sheeting was sitting on the dock in Kingston. The Rotary Club of Simcoe was instructed that it would have to be another project to receive CIDA funding as the Canadian Government had already funded Zinc Sheeting.
 
On April 4, 1989, CIDA approved a grant of $230,000 to ship school supplies through a non governmental organization called CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education). They have printed more than 8 million textbooks in Jamaica and are well prepared to equip the schools with school supplies.
The school supplies were Lower Primary Student kits, Upper Primary Student kits, Lower Secondary Student kits, Teacher kits and School kits. All supplies were packaged in self-contained separate units. Plastic bags with the Rotary Wheel on them will be used for the Student kits.
 
The ability to read and write is a primary necessity if people are to progress. Children who are taught to read and write will do a better job of rearing their own children and insist that those children receive basic education as well.
 
The total amount of the Project is approximately as follows:
 
SOURCE AMOUNT
 District 709 (now 7090) Clubs  69,301
 District 707 Clubs (Alliston, Ontario Area)   6,200
 District 785 (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
    590
 District 701 (Barrie, Ontario)   5,000
 General Public (Simcoe Area)  19,098
 Rotary International
 58,000
 Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) 230,000
 United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 210,000
TOTAL   598,189
 
The Simcoe Rotary Club's motto for this project has been "What you conceive and believe you achieve". This project has shown that Rotarians will not be complacent while other people in the world live deprived lives because they do not have a rightful share of the world's resources.
 
James (Jim) C. B.Jackson
Gentlemen, this is Rotary in Action and I'm proud to be a Rotarian. When you see 5 Rotary districts get together to accomplish what we have both been able to do, you realize that each and every Rotarian CAN make a difference to help people in distress in this world.”
 
Edited from a speech by Jim Jackson of The Rotary Club of Simcoe in Jamaica.