page-img2In the spirit of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Golden Jubilee Celebration and Jamaica Awareness Association of California’s (JAAC) motto “Improving Lives Today For A Better Tomorrow”, our education team of seven members embarked on our 12th annual mission to Jamaica. During the one week mission, we impacted the lives of over 8000 students across Jamaica namely in the parishes St. Mary, Portland, Kingston and St. James.

With logistics support from the Ministry of Education, the team worked tirelessly to ensure success of this mission and accomplished the following:

  • Visited 14 schools where we delivered various services, capacity building initiatives and donations.
  • Trained teachers and principals on basic intermediate computer skills including the use of Microsoft Word and Excel. There were over 30 attendees and all were presented with a certificate of participation. Vinette Powell and Emrah Gungor from NEET assisted as facilitators.
  • Donated school supplies which included backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, binders, calculators, erasers, rulers, sharpeners and other supplies.
  • Installed 50 computers, 12 printers and 5 multimedia projectors in 8 schools. The computers were installed with Microsoft Office and other educational software. One school received a server that will allow for file and print sharing capabilities.
  • Presented the 2012 Enid Davis five year Scholarship to Rashaun Stewart of Catherine Hall Primary.
  • Presented the Una Morris-Chong four year Academic Scholarship to Simonique Anderson and Romaine Anderson, both from Kingston Technical High School (KTHS).
  • Facilitated career day and motivational workshop sessions. Students were introduced to various professions as possible career choices and encouraged to work diligently towards improvement of self, community and country.
  • Conducted psychological assessment at 14 schools with over 150 selected students who had been previously identified by their guidance counselor or principal due to their mainly having behavioral challenges i.e. attention deficit disorder issues, anger management concerns and low self-esteem/academic difficulties.
  • Conducted dental health education on dental hygiene and visual oral examination at 6 schools to over 300 students.

Equipment, supplies and services valued at approximately US $80,000.00, were donated to the 2012 outreach mission by JAAC.

The recipient schools were:

  • Mount Angus Jobs Hill Primary
  • Jacks River Calabar High
  • Zion Hill Primary & Junior High Buff Bay All Age
  • Enfield Primary Catherine Hall Primary
  • Mahoe Hill Primary Mount Salem All Age & Junior High
  • Highgate Primary & Junior High St Mary High
  • Richmond Primary Kingston Technical High



JAAC thanks all who helped with their many contributions to make our 2012 mission a tremendous success.This trip would not have been possible without our many fundraising efforts here in the US. The support and attendance of our 50/50 mission campaign, Wine & Cheese Party, Walk-A-Thon, Dinner parties, Karaoke’s and others that allowed us to raise over $15,000.00, which enabled the success of our mission locally and in Jamaica.

page-img3Your donations and efforts were warmly received by all the participating schools. Their appreciation was expressed in the form of delightful cultural performances in our honor, showcasing the inherent talents of our youths in Jamaica.

Our group was feted with an array of delicious Jamaica cuisine and presented with tokens of appreciation.

The JAAC Education Team:

Andrew Facey
Yasmin Facey
Marie Kellier
Sharon Morgan
Patricia Reneau
June Royes
Anthony Edwards
Diane Ferguson
Donnie “DC” Campbell
Patrick Williams

Mission Partners and Sponsors

We received invaluable collaboration from various groups and individuals to enhance the success of the mission:

Negril Educational Environmental Trust (NEET)
Mr. Winston Wellington
Emrah Gungor
Ms. Vinette Powell

Dennis Shipping
Mr. Dennis Hawthorne
Andre Lyle
Ms. Anessia Jones
Mr. Dwayne Johns
Ms. Kadian Francis

Montego Bay Lions Club
Pauline Allen
Amanda Thompson

Dr. Una Morris
Port Handlers Limited
Deputy Mayor of St. Mary
Hertz/Liberty Car Rental
Ministry of Education
Jamaica Customs


In conclusion, this was certainly a rewarding and emotional experience for the team, not just for the returning members but also for our new volunteers. The overall trip was a major success based on the impact that we were able to create on the lives on the many students we encountered, the various communities we visited and the significant advances we helped to create on education in Jamaica.

Respectfully Submitted
Patrick Williams,
JAAC VP, Education Chair

The JAAC Surgery Team is pleased to report yet another successful mission in June 2013. This year the team consisted of Laurence Weekes M.D.,(Team Leader), Alister George M.D., Maxine Anderson M.D., Toni Scott-Terry, M.D., Janina Sukhu RN, (Nurse Coordinator), Sharon Watson RN, Claudette Coleman RN (Mission Coordinator), and Carlos Cabral Surgical Technician.


2013_medical_missionThe team arrived on Friday, May 31, 2013, and on Saturday, June 1, 2013, travelled to Annotto Bay Hospital where they unloaded several boxes of equipment and supplies donated to the hospital. Some donated equipment had to be assembled tested and made ready for use in theatre in coming week.

The Ninth Annual Laparoscopic Surgery Seminar jointly sponsored by JAAC and Annotto Bay Hospital was held on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at the St. Mary Civic Center in Port Maria, St. Mary, Jamaica. At the seminar the team was ably represented by Dr. Alister George who presented on Endoscopy at Annotto Bay Hospital, Dr. Maxine Anderson who spoke on the topic “Single Port Laparoscopic Surgery” and Dr. Toni Scott-Terry who gave a presentation on “Laparoscopic Surgery for Adnexal Masses.”

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was spent in operating theatre assisting local surgeons and surgical staff with “Hands On” training in Laparoscopic Surgery and Endoscopic procedures.

On Thursday this surgery team as well as members of the JAAC Executive was invited guests at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where we met with members of the hospital Board and members of the hospital executive. At this meeting, a presentation and request was made to JAAC for assistance with the reestablishment of their laparoscopic surgery program. JAAC has since considered this request in executive session and has decided to accept this challenge, and do whatever is possible to assist KPH with this endeavor.

Enough could not be said about the new members of a team, Dr. Maxine Anderson and Dr. Toni Scott- Terry. They both were instrumental in securing donations of vitally needed laparoscopic instruments and supplies, and assisted in the shipping of these supplies at their own expense. Although they were new to the surgery team and to the JAAC mission they were undaunted by the unexpected. Their contribution to the Seminar, to the practical training sessions and to the mission as a whole was priceless.

The veterans of the Surgery Team are to be commended for continued dedication and support to this segment of the mission. Dr Alister George personally donated additional instruments and supplies needed to continue the training he started in Endoscopy and ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography). Janina Sukhu, RN, the Nurse Coordinator for the Surgery Team, and Sharon Watson, RN were facilitators for the team and worked with the local Medical Staff to explore new ways in which we could make the training experience more meaningful. Carlos Cabral our OR Technician was a genius at multitasking. Not only did he assist with the training of local technicians, but he also assembled and tested the newly shipped equipment, and worked on previously donated items that needed repairs.

The Surgery Team wishes to thank Dr. Ray Fraser, Dr. Nadine Bourg , and the entire staff of Annotto Bay Hospital for the wonderful reception/boat ride /Picnic/Party which they hosted on Friday, June 7, 2013. It was a truly marvelous day and a great way to end our mission week. We also wish to welcome to California, the Annotto Bay Hospital visiting team of Dr. Andrea Myers, Dr. Ram Yadav, Dr. Zaw Myo Min, Nurse Krista Winter, Nurse Shanille Bamberry, Nurse Kerry-Ann Greaves-Davy and Mrs. Barbara Lewey. The team has just completed the sixth bi-annual JAAC sponsored visit during which the team observed laparoscopic surgery training and operating theatre procedures in California during their weeklong stay.

Many thanks for your continued support of this mission.



Education Team Members:

Patrick Williams – Education Chair
Yasmin Facey – President
Anthony Edwards Martine Hall, Sharon Morgan, Johnise Glen, Andrew Facey, Alphonso Gibbs, Marie Kellier, Doreen Tulloch-Reid, Rose Lebert,

Kingston Technical High
Buff Bay All Age
Enfield Primary
Zion Hill Primary & Junior High
Port Maria Primary
St. Mary High
Highgate Primary & Junior High
Clonmel Primary
Oracabessa Primary
Little London High School
Little London Primary
Broughton Primary
Catherine Hall Primary
Mount Salem All Age & Junior High
Cornwall College

EducationReport2pp_Page_1Jamaica Awareness Association of California, (JAAC), had a seven member volunteer team participate in our 12th annual education mission to Jamaica. During our mission week mission, we visited 15 schools and were successful in accomplishing our objectives. Our work impacted the lives over 5000 students in the parishes of St. Mary, Portland, Kingston, Westmoreland and St. James with the support and assistance of the Ministry of Education.

The objectives set forth by the education team and approved by the JAAC board was successfully executed:

  • We donated school supplies to over 500 students
  • Repaired and serviced previously donated computers at 6 schools
  • We donated multimedia projectors, computers, printers, digital cameras, iPods and USB wireless network cards.
  • Conducted computer training seminars for teachers
  • Conducted 3 Trauma Workshops for guidance counselors
  • Conducted career rap sessions at various schools
  • We conducted our first Education Summit-Empowered by Knowledge: obstacles to Education in Jamaica
  • Made courtesy call on the Ministry of Education
  • Made courtesy visits on all 5 of our current scholarship recipients at their various schools and reviewed the current guidelines.

Our annual Training Seminar for teachers was facilitated by JAAC team members, the principal and staff at Highgate Junior High & Primary (St. Mary) in conjunction with members of Negril Education Environmental Trust (NEET). The purpose of the training was to provide the participants with a basic course in Microsoft Word and Excel. There were 32 principals and teachers in attendance and the training was well received by all.

EducationReport2pp_Page_2Our Trauma presentation seminar was a new addition to this year’s activities for Guidance Counselors on “Classroom issues and potential answers”. The team conducted workshops in 3 parishes. The first was held at Mico Teacher’s College (Kingston) with 35 attendees; the second took place at Highgate Primary & Junior High (St. Mary) with 33 attendees and the third, at Travellers Beach Resort (Westmoreland) with 30 attendees. The seminars were well received by all participants, and evoked many questions during the presentations. Participants stated that the workshops were refreshing and well needed.

To conclude our week of activities JAAC in collaboration with Saint James Central Constituency, supported by the University of the West Indies Mona, Western Jamaica Campus hosted the first Education Summit, entitled “Empowered by Knowledge: The Obstacles to Education in Jamaica”.

The objectives were to:

  • To identify the critical issues affecting education in Jamaica
  • Identify and understand the issues from a stakeholder’s perspective
  • Identify common threads
  • Promote public discourse around the improvement of education
  • Drive sensitivity and awareness around the issues
  • Create alignment and increase collaboration among the stakeholders towards solutions


  • Health and Welfare of the Children: (Health – vision, hearing, dental, nutrition, psychological, emotional etc.)
  • Socio-Economic Circumstances: (Family support, finances, parenting, social/community/ environment)
  • Access: (Availability of educational resources – teachers, books, supplies, equipment, technology, tools, transportation, training etc.)
  • Government/Social Policies: (Government regulations, funding, government response to issues affecting education, access to support etc.)

The event was very well received by the over 100 attendees, including the Minister of Education The Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites who delivered the keynote address; Hon Lloyd B. Smith Member of Parliament. The summit was moderated by Dr. Luz Longsworth, Director of the UWI, Mona Western Jamaica Campus (Principal, Sam Sharpe Teachers College), Dr. Jhody Ann Hendricks (Pediatrician with Ministry of Health) and Mr. Alonzo Jones (Principal, Barracks Road Primary).

JAAC Education team was very well received at all the schools we visited. The teachers and students greeted us warmly and expressed their appreciation for the assistance JAAC has provided to them over the years.

Thanks to all our donors and supporters for allowing us to carry out another successful education outreach mission in Jamaica.

Special Thanks to:

  • NEET
  • Dennis Shipping
  • Lions Club, Montego Bay
  • Ministry of Education, regions 2 & 4
  • St. James Central Constituency
  • Councilwoman Suzette Brown
  • Councilman Sylvan Reid
  • UWI Mona WJC

Respectfully Submitted
Patrick Williams
JAAC VP, Education Chair 

“Improving Lives Today For A Better Tomorrow”



Laurence J.S. Weekes MD 

The medical and dental teams worked in various clinics in the parishes of St. Mary and Trelawny and attended to approximately 1,000 patients and provided needed medication and vitamins to most.  Our surgery team also enjoyed another successful week in training local health professionals in the art of laparoscopic surgery and performed 30 procedures including, Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, Hysterectomy, Diagnostic Laparoscopy, C-Section, Upper and Lower Endoscopies.  The team worked out of Annotto Bay Hospital and Sav-La-Mar Hospital.

The education team visited 14 schools in 3 parishes and was able to accomplish several amazing tasks.

Our adopted school, Faith Builders Early Childhood Center, received the following:

  • 18 cubic inch refrigerator
  • 60 foot perimeter fence
  • New toilets
  • cement walkways
  • 3 tablets

Additionally, the team donated mathematics and science training material and numerous reading books to populate libraries in various elementary schools. School supplies were distributed to over 1,000 students and the Enid Davis renewable five year scholarship was awarded to a student who will begin St. Mary High in September 2016.

JAAC takes pride in its commitment to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves, and public support of our various projects is a critical element in helping us meet our goals

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