Local Government Minister Endorses Desnoes & Geddes Foundation Club
Red Stripe Initiative to Facilitate a More Robust Coordination of Community Outreach
The Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie has endorsed the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation Club which was launched recently at the company headquarters. The Club was formed in a bid to facilitate a more robust and organised level of participation from Red Stripe employees in community outreach activities.
Minister McKenzie who was the guest speaker at the launch shared the importance of the Club, and in particular the housing development projects which will be undertaken by the Foundation.
The D&G Foundation, in collaboration with Food for the Poor, intends to spread its philanthropy to the communities that are home to Red Stripe’s ‘Project Grow’ cassava farms, by constructing ten homes by year-end for families in need. Through this upcoming partnership the company will be able to reach out to farming communities by providing jobs and adequate housing.
“The D&G Foundation has touched on an area which is close to my heart, community development, as lack of affordable housing has been a bitter cry for many Jamaicans,” the Minister said at the launch. He commended the Foundation for its long standing philanthropic efforts, and keeping the spirit of volunteerism alive. “The level of commitment and devotion to community development shown by the D&G Foundation over the years has remained unquestionable, and I would like to congratulate you on your consistent and unwavering contribution to Jamaica,” he said. “I must also commend the D&G Foundation Club members for dedicating their time and effort in contributing to the life changing projects that are being executed by the Foundation.”
On Labour Day, May 23, members of the D&G Foundation Club journeyed to Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine and assisted in the construction of three houses for families in need. The team will continue onto Wallen, St. Catherine on July 28th where they will construct four houses. After which, it’s on to Spring Plain, Clarendon in November where an additional three houses will be constructed.
The D&G Foundation Club comprises near 100 volunteers spanning departments including corporate affairs, supply, logistics, finance, human resource and marketing. The volunteers are presented with a calendar consisting of various outreach projects for a year, from which they select activities that best fit within their work schedule. Garth Williams, Sustainability Manager, Red Stripe, and leader of this initiative shared the rationale behind this. “We understand that it might be difficult for persons to lend their support on weekends, as such most of the activities are done on weekdays.” He continued, “In essence D&G Foundation Club members are sacrificing work hours but not enough that will impact productivity.”
David Mair, Executive Director, Food for the Poor expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for the assistance in the construction of the homes. “Without consistent support from our partners, this mission would not be possible, we are therefore extremely grateful to the D&G Foundation for its recent donation of approximately JM$5 million dollars towards the commencement of this project. It will undoubtedly go a long way in the construction of these ten houses,” stated Mair.
Since its establishment in 2006 the D&G Foundation has invested over JM$150 million dollars directly into its various programmes and collaborative efforts. The flagship programme, Learning for Life, is a HEART certified skills training initiative in over 20 disciplines, with near 12,000 young Jamaicans having benefited. Additionally, the programme has provided first time jobs for 70% of participants, thus facilitating new breadwinners within local families.
The D&G Foundation aims to intensify its outreach efforts as stated by Red Stripe’s Sustainability Manager. “These activities allow our employees to put muscle behind delivering joy and hope. It provides a future to people who are in need, and that is the main driving force behind the Foundation’s slogan ‘impacting lives and enriching communities’” he explained.
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