Jamaica Awareness Association of California, (JAAC), formed in 1987, is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. Its primary objective is to make a difference in the quality of life in the underserved areas in Jamaica as well as the local Los Angeles communities. JAAC is especially dedicated to the advancement of the health and educational systems in Jamaica and the United States. JAAC projects are funded by fundraisers, donations and corporate sponsorships.
The organization engages in several activities each year:
Enid Davis Scholarship Award in Jamaica
David Haughton Scholarship in California
Local health fairs in Los Angeles
Since June 2000, JAAC has been conducting Missions to Jamaica, which include the delivery of free medical and dental care to rural communities, the establishment of computer labs and the donation of library books and school supplies to rural schools. The education mission was expanded in 2010 to include IT training for teachers. Volunteers will participate in JAAC’s 15th Annual Mission June 1-6, 2014. The 60 volunteers are comprised of doctors, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, dentists, educators and other support staff who will be working in various schools and clinics in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ann. The clinic team visit is being coordinated in conjunction with Dr. San San Win of the St. Mary Health Department.
In June 2003, the Surgical Team of JAAC was established. It was at that time that a relationship was established between JAAC and Annotto Bay Hospital. Dr Ray Fraser, SMO of Annotto Bay Hospital welcomed a visit from the JAAC Surgical team under the leadership of Dr Laurence Weekes. That seemingly inauspicious visit led to a bond between JAAC and Annotto Bay Hospital which has now produced a unique rural Laparoscopic Surgery Training Center and now the Annotto Bay Hospital’s 10th Annual Laparoscopic Surgery Seminar. The surgery seminar will be held on Sunday, June 1st in Port Maria. The team will conduct training programs this year at Annotto Bay and Princess Margaret Hospitals.
The JAAC Education team will continue Information Technology Teacher Training in elementary schools. Annually, based upon school recommendations and interviews, JAAC’s education team selects a recipient for the Enid Davis Scholarship Award – a renewable four year scholarship for the student’s high school tenure. The teams’ session with guidance counselors last year was a resounding success and will be repeated in two locations during this mission. This year the team will visit schools in the parish of St. Mary and St. James and they will conduct the second education summit in Montego Bay in conjunction with the local parish council. Students at the schools visited will receive donations of backpacks and school supplies.
Many thanks to Grace Kennedy for agreeing to be a sponsor of this year’s mission. Grace Foods International has generously donated beverages for our clinics and will also provide airport to hotel shuttle service upon our arrival.
Residents of the areas listed below are encouraged to come out and take advantage of the free medical and dental services.
Please contact us for any additional information:
President – Yasmin V. Facey