Students of Comfort Castle Primary and Junior High School in Portland are the beneficiaries of a $343,350 donation from a Canadian charity, the Tamara Gordon Foundation.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, presented the cheque to Principal Dalmain Moore at a ceremony in New Kingston on Tuesday, August 27.
Minister Johnson, 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.
Senator Johnson Smith lauded the foundation’s director, Tamara Gordon, who has devoted her life to empowering persons with disabilities, despite having suffered personal tragedy.
Principal Moore expressed his appreciation for the generous donation, adding the money has come at an opportune time, as preparations are underway for the new academic year.
He told JIS News that 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, of Jamaican parentage, was born in Canada, and tragically 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 Tamara Grant Foundation primarily provides scholarships for disabled students to assist with financing their tertiary education.