Save the Callaloo Mews Basic School

This October, we, fifteen Villanova University students, traveled to Kingston, Jamaica on a week-long service trip. We visited numerous sites, including Callaloo Mews Basic School (ages 3-6). This school is dedicated to education during a child's formative years. The school takes an active role in helping children develop the basic motor, communication, and social skills needed to be successful in primary school.

The school sits in the heart of Callaloo Mews community in Riverton City, Jamaica. The neighborhood consists of roughly 150 tin-roofed shacks. The families that inhabit this area typically have no source of income; 90% of adults in the community are unemployed. With no infrastructure for sanitation, raw sewage flows alongside burning garbage piles. The school is the only place where children are guaranteed access to one meal a day, clean drinking water, and hygienic facilities. The Callaloo Mews community has been searching for the promise of a better future for its children. Callaloo Mews Basic School does just that.

Since the school is not subsidized by the government nor requires a tuition payment by the children's families, it has always relied on an outside entity to support it. While we were visiting, Mrs. Simms, the principal, explained that the school has lost all funding. The school has no means through which to receive the $3,000 per month it needs to function. The school will shut down in the coming months if no new source of funding arises. There is no alternative basic school for the children of Callaloo Mews to receive the education they want and deserve. The community of Callaloo Mews will lose its inspiration and its hope.

After talking as a group, we concluded that our mission would be to save the school. We are pursuing an active role to eliminate poverty by keeping these children in the education system and on the path to a brighter future. We are engaging in intensive fundraising for the school in the coming months, while simultaneously pursuing a more sustainable and permanent source of funding. Until that normalcy is established, we desperately need your help in getting Callaloo Mews through the next few months. All donations will go directly to Mrs. Simms, who will use the money to pay for basic utilities, salaries, and food. This school is a necessity. In the words of Mrs. Simms herself, Callaloo Mews Basic School is "an oasis in the middle of a desert." Help us keep this Oasis alive. All generosity is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."- Margaret Mead

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Organizer

Lauren Honeycutt 
Organizer
Villanova, PA
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