September 11, 2012
Arthur Guinness Fund
Arthur Guinness Day is a global celebration immortalising the life and legacy of Sir Arthur Guinness, the creator of the world-renowned Guinness Stout.
The Arthur Guinness Fund was established in 2009 as part of the 250th anniversary celebration of the 9000 year lease signing at St James Gate Brewery in Dublin. The fund's mandate is to build on Arthur's philanthropic legacy by supporting social entrepreneurs (Guinness Community Heroes), who are making substantial contributions to their communities.
The Arthur Guinness Fund wishes to invest in and support social entrepreneurs with new ideas, solutions or an approach to social problems that will create systemic change at a community, regional and potentially national and international level. Entrepreneurs should be creative, success driven, self-confident and have integrity.
A total of 10 social entrepreneurs will be selected from the 60 by a panel of judges comprising: Dr Henley Morgan - managing director of the Agency of Inner-city Renewal, Fabian Brown - President of the Young Entrepreneurs' Association of Jamaica and Lisa Lake, Chief Entrepreneurship officer at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.
The top 10 community projects will be rewarded a combined $6.7 million courtesy of Guinness to support their social initiatives. Below are three of the nominees.
Hillipa G. Kid is the current principal of the Timothy Bourke Basic School in Lucky Hill, St Mary. However, she's no ordinary principal and as such she is actively trying to develop the facilities for the children at her school. She even got a job offer and turned it down to complete this project to assist the children and wider community in improving their computer skills.
Her social education project started two years ago and includes the construction of a sick bay, audio-visual room and staffroom at the institution, Kidd says. "It's been built but it hasn't been furnished yet," she said. It currently lacks computers, printers and other equipment.
Kidd says the main reason for her involvement in this project was the costly access to computer and Internet services for community members, due to the fact that these services are not readily available in the community. "I'm trying to get persons computer literate," Kidd said. She wants to start with students and then assist the parents, along with members of the wider community in accessing computer services. The project will impact persons from the following communities: Street, Elgin Town, Halifax, Lucky Hill, Church Village, Retirement, Barclay's Town, Arcadia Housing Scheme and Gayle.
Her life's philosophy is, "Do what you can, all you can and do your best at all times," she said.
Charmaine Jones or Henney, as she is popularly called, is a bar owner actively trying to bring a smile to children going back to school. She usually purchases educational materials such as books, pencils, sharpeners, socks and shoes polish for the children of Old Harbour Bay and its various communities.
Henney's Back-to-School event also incorporates the kids. Clothing material is bought to make costumes for them to perform skits, dance, poems and song on a rented music truck in front of her bar on 56 East Bay Drive, Old Harbour.
It all started when the annual regatta was not being held and Henney says "the kids were bored". Seven years after, Henney is still going strong with her community intervention event. She says that six - twelve year old children are the main beneficiaries.
Henney begins planning her event in the summer - when the children are on holidays - by asking her customers to give a donation to her worthy cause. She then takes money out of her pocket and travels to downtown Kingston, where she purchases the various educational materials to give to the children. She's a strong believer in children attending school and this is one of her main reasons for helping the children every year.
"Children should go to school and this will help to cut down on the crime in Jamaica," she said.
How often do you see schools offering training and education for free? Not very often. However, Wynetta Wallace of Laval's School of Cosmetology, Nail Technology and Barbering Institute - a City and Guilds-certified institution in Spanish Town, is doing her part in helping young adolescents to develop a skill from which they can make a living.
The educator says her social project is based on taking persons from inner-city communities in Spanish Town and giving them a free education in barbering, cosmetology, and nail technology. The institution has admitted over 10 students so far under this groundbreaking educational initiative. She said that they couldn't afford the school fee but the school still bought the products for them to practise their skills with. "Three of them have got their certificates already," she added.
The Laval's Institute is geared towards high school dropouts or young persons in general from the communities of De La Vega City, King Street/Dallas Lane and Winters Pen in Spanish Town.
Wallace says the process of operating the initiative is quite simple. Laval's will ask for some students and once they come to us we will pay their school fees, provide uniforms and books along with hair and nail products, she said. Their training lasts for six months and during this time they are tested on what they've read as well as do practical elements of their education, she added.