Students of Comfort Castle Primary and Junior High School in Portland are the beneficiaries of a $343,350 donation from the Canadian charity, the Tamara Gordon Foundation.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, presented the cheque to Principal of the school, Dalmain Moore, at a ceremony held at the Ministry’s Dominica Drive address in New Kingston, on Tuesday (August 27).
The Minister, who made the presentation on behalf of the Foundation, said the generous gesture demonstrates the important role of the Diaspora in national development.
“This significant donation will be very helpful for the programmes you are running at Comfort Castle. It is another example of how our Diaspora reaches out to make real change and directly and positively impact the lives of Jamaicans [at home]. It is such a fundamental reason why we appreciate our Diaspora so much,” she said.
Johnson Smith lauded the Foundation’s Director, Tamara Gordon, who has devoted her life to empowering persons with disabilities, despite having suffered personal tragedy.
Moore who expressed his appreciation for the generous donation, told the government agency JIS that the money has come at an opportune time, as preparations are under way for the new academic year.
He said the funds will be used to expand the school’s literacy and numeracy programme in the area, purchase a commercial printer and a desktop computer, among other things.
“The fact is the community is economically challenged. Our intention is to see how best we can educate the population, because by educating the people we are giving the people the power. We are changing a community and the nation as well,” he said.
Gordon, who is of Jamaican parentage and was born in Canada, became a paraplegic following a serious motor-vehicle accident.
Established in 2013, the Tamara Grant Foundation is a community based charity which seeks to provide support to persons with physical disabilities in the greater Toronto area by empowering and improving their lives by facilitating equal opportunities for persons of this community, through education.
The charity provides financial, social and other practical resources necessary for physically challenged persons to be self-supporting and to function as contributing members of society.
The Foundation primarily provides scholarships for disabled students to assist with financing their tertiary education.