Nourishing Hearts, Spirits and bellies of the beautiful children at Carmel Primary School!
Thank you to everyone who has helped us to come this far! Deep gratitude to Miss Daphne Clark Hudson (a former student at the Carmel Primary School) who planted this seed of hope for these children. She went back to visit her humble beginnings and while visiting the school she found out that most of the children come to school hungry each day. Daphne had a nursing background and understood immediately the implications of hunger on a growing mind and body and so she was committed to finding a way to ensure that each child was fed a nutritious breakfast each day to give them a fair chance to succeed in life.
She began a pilot program and got the breakfast program off the ground, and raised enough money to have the children fed for over a year. The successes were measurable- the children’s retention rates were up, test scores improved, behavioral issues went down, the school just functioned better overall and the children had less sick days throughout the year.
Just over a year ago the main school house burned down forcing all 65 students (4–12) to be in one small building once reserved for the preschool. They lost their computers and books, and it set this school back dramatically. This small Community was already struggling, and so the fire set them back greatly... but they carried on. Using the back of an old church as the classroom for the older students until they could rebuild.
Visiting the school, it was clear that there was 3 important things we can do to help:
1.)- Get the breakfast program relaunched and fully funded for the next 2 years! ($3k/year to feed all the children and it creates a local job for a wonderful man Mr Davy.)
2.)- Gather up donations from angels coming to Jamaica from around the world to attend A-Fest
3.)- Plant an organic orchard and vegetable garden ('food forest') so that the school could be growing some of it's own food to supplement the breakfast program for coming years. We planted over 15 species of fruit trees some of which produce huge quantities of fruit- breadfruit, plantain, banana, rose-apple, mango, jamaican cherry, jamaican plum, ackee...).
Any additional funding that we are able to get will support local jobs for a wonderful gentleman to keep up the gardens/orchard and continue planting it over the coming year. Additional support beyond $7000 will be able to replace the computers, books, and school supplies which were lost in the fire. If you have old laptops, ipads that are in good condition, please contact me, as this school could really use them.
I want to thank each person who showed up for this beautiful community near and far. No child should go hungry in this time we are living in. You may not see the blessing that this will bring into these lives but as Miss Daphne says "you never know who may grow up to be the next Prime Minister, Doctor, or person that changes that persons life". Thank you all for sharing your love with this beautiful community and helping to give these children the healthy start they deserve. A little bit of love goes a long way.