Friday, July 29, 2016

C.B. Facey Foundation Joins The Talk; Adopts A School In Debate Mate Jamaica Programme

C.B. Facey Foundation (CBFF) has committed to support Debate Mate Jamaica (DMJ) Adopt-A-School Programme for 2016/17.

The programme, which reached over 900 students in 31 secondary schools from Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay in the recently concluded school year, aims to expand to 40 schools.

CBFF, which oversees the corporate social responsibility programmes for Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited (Pan-Jam), has supported DMJ efforts for the past three years, but this is its  first time committing to the four-year-old Adopt-A-School programme.

“Over the years, we have seen the impact of Debate Mate Jamaica work with at-risk youth populations. The participants have been able to work through conflict using words and have garnered new skills that are applicable in the work environment. We decided to increase our support, because we believe that public and private partnerships is essential to reshaping the Jamaican education system,” Brittany Singh Williams, executive director of the C.B. Facey Foundation.

The CBFF funds will be used to cover the cost of implementing the DMJ programme in the adopted school, including mentor payments and the provision of healthy snacks.

“The sponsorship also means that we, the CBFF and by extension Pan-Jam, will be able to access conflict resolution, communication and leadership training from DMJ. We are very excited to those workshops available for our staff,” Williams revealed.

Debate Mate Jamaica’s social enterprise programme contributes to positive youth development by also recruiting, training, and engaging university students to run extra-curricular debate workshops in schools.

DMJ 2016 winners: Heidi Clarke (second left), director of programmes for Sandals Foundation, stands with the winners of the Urban Debate League 2016 from St. Andrew Technical High School, (standing left to right), Whitney Fisher, Tess Homan, Alex O’Conner, Jahmario James and (stooping left to right): Jerome Reynolds and Shane Bennett.

“In the 2015-16 programme, Debate Mate Jamaica continued its work with in some of the most deprived communities in Jamaica. At the end of the programme, 82 per cent (of the over 900 participants) were better able to empathise with others; 84 per cent were better able to speak up in class; and 90 per cent were more hardworking. As we look to the future, we are excited to work with the C.B. Facey Foundation as we continue to help students achieve their ambitions by providing them with valuable 21st century skills through debating and peer-to-peer mentorship. We are hugely grateful for the support since day one, and look forward to see what the future holds,” said Scarlett McCabe, Debate Mate executive programme director for USA and the Caribbean.

Principal of Melrose Primary and Junior High School, Jennifer Lee, said the DMJ programme also had an effect on the wider school population.

“The Debate Mate Programme widens the students scope of thinking and exposes them to other ways of dealing with conflicts and the realities of growing up. Unlike the other students, the debaters are more likely to rethink when faced with conflicts. They seek to attack the problem and not the person. This makes for a more calming environment and a safer school,” Lee explained.

About C.B. Facey Foundation

Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation oversees the corporate social responsibility programmes of the Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited for over 30 years. The Foundation is helping to shape the society by investing in arts and education through relationships the National Gallery of Jamaica, the Boy's Town Infant and Primary School, and Jamaica Association for the Deaf. The CBFF also invests in the environment, economic growth and business sustainability through continuous projects.

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