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Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has lauded the contribution of the diaspora to the country’s development, particularly in the critical areas of health and education.

She said that up to July this year, there have been more than 133 diaspora-led health missions to the island, which have contributed US$6.7 million to the public health sector.

“In 2016, the diaspora organised 192 charitable missions and contributed US$8 million to Jamaica,” she noted.

She said that remittances, which account for more than 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), go a far way in helping to cover medical and educational expenses for thousands of families in Jamaica.

Ambassador Marks was addressing members of the Benevolent Missions of Atlanta (BMA) at a special breakfast in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th year of Independence held on August 13 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

She urged the members of the BMA to “continue supporting these various outreach efforts, as your contributions are truly making a difference”. (more…)

Benevolent Missions of Atlanta (BMA) announces its 2009 fall benefit – Jazz in the Garden – which will be held Sunday, September 13th in downtown Atlanta. BMA, an Atlanta-based not-for-profit organization, has a successful history of giving to underserved children in the island of Jamaica and Atlanta.

The organization’s mission is dedicated to effectively harnessing and leveraging the time, talent, and resources of the Jamaica-U.S. community to assist disadvantaged and at-risk children, who possess great potential, throughout the island of Jamaica and in the metro Atlanta area. BMA’s goal is to help ensure that these children are prepared for a lifetime of socially-responsible citizenship.

BMA has just wrapped up a successful project at St. Ann’s Bay Primary, where a computer laboratory was established to assist students in their learning and several students were awarded scholarships to enable them to navigate the financial challenges facing many Jamaican primary school attendees. The organization is expanding its program this fall, to the second of six targeted schools, Seaward Primary School in Kingston, where a library facility will be equipped and up to 10 students will receive scholarships.

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New BMA Board to Address the Plight of Disadvantaged Children?
President of the Atlanta-based Benevolent Mission of Atlanta (BMA), Gail Dunwell, has said that the new 12-member board, which took office on January 1, will place emphasis on partnering with other Diaspora organisations in the United States, in order to provide a more holistic approach to addressing the plight of Jamaican children.

“We will also be concentrating our efforts on schools in dire need in Jamaica and focussing on mentoring to Atlanta’s elementary and middles schools,” she stated.

According to Mrs. Dunwell, the BMA is dedicated to effectively harnessing and leveraging the time, talent, and resources of the Jamaican community in the United States to assist disadvantaged and at-risk children, who possess great potential, throughout the island of Jamaica and in the metro Atlanta area.

“BMA’s goal is to help to ensure that these children are prepared for a lifetime of socially responsible citizenship. Our focus is on elementary and middle school-aged children, with the objective of improving literacy and numeracy among such students, thus preparing them for a successful transition to high school,” she said.

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