More than 190 members of The Links, Incorporated, an organization of African-American women connected in friendship and service, will return to Montego Bay, Jamaica for the group’s third humanitarian trip, a global linkage initiative to enhance the educational, health and welfare of the nation’s schools and students, that began in 2016. The group is expected to be on the island January 23-26, 2018.
Since their first trip in 2016, the Links will have invested approximately one million dollars in the economy and devoted over 5,000 volunteer service hours at the end of this mission trip. The delegation’s ultimate goal is to make a sustainable impact and create lasting partnerships in communities of need throughout Jamaica.
The Links, Incorporated’s members and their families, a record number attending this year, will bring various school supplies, and all the basic tools to share with students and their families to better their education.
Included in the donations are 160 Kindle Fire tablets to support youth technology interests and efforts. As in past years, led by the organization’s president, medical doctor Glenda Newell-Harris, The Links, Incorporated’s members will visit the partner schools participating in the three-year project: St. Mary’s Preparatory, Mt. Zion Primary and Watford Hill Primary schools.
Through collaboration and sponsorship by Colgate’s dental education program, Bright Smiles, Bright Futures, The Links, Incorporated has improved students’ oral hygiene by providing on site dental exams to the children at all three schools. Support from sponsor AARP has also enabled members to finance and implement resource specialists to the educators who are focusing on teaching enhanced reading, writing and math practices.
While our aim has been to extend helping hands of friendship and service to those with whom we interact and connect with in Jamaica, this trip is one of mutual transformation. Our members are so excited about the opportunity to return to share and enjoy an experience that is as meaningful to us as it is to our Jamaican colleagues. Our hands-on involvement with students and teachers allows us to give to those who may benefit from our resources. It also enables us to live out the mission of our organization in real time. We look forward to making a difference in the lives of our children, who are our future, on the beautiful island nation of Jamaica. –Dr. Newell-Harris.
The visit will focus on five program areas: technology presentations, anti-bullying training, arts, oral and physical hygiene, and CPR training for 4-6th graders.