Diaspora embraces LASCO Chin Foundation in Florida

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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WITH two benefit galas planned for next month, the Jamaican diaspora in Florida has rallied support for the newly formed LASCO Chin Foundation (LCF).

The galas, set for November 16 in Orlando and November 18 in Florida, come on the heels of what is being described as a successful launch of the foundation on September 20.

Venued at Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando and Miramar Cultural Centre, according to a release yesterday, the fund-raisers are expected to have keynote addresses by former Prime Minister P J Patterson.

The release said both galas are being hosted with the support of the Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force (JDETF).

According to chairman of the foundation, founder and executive chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies Lascelles Chin, it was always his life's dream to help Jamaica.

“This foundation will create a legacy greater than all my business achievements combined. Long after I am gone and the present LASCO management team is no longer around, the LASCO Chin Foundation will be here in Jamaica,” he is quoted as saying.

“In business life, it is important to recognise the ills of the society in which we operate, and work at being a part of the solution. We need to get to the core cause and build from the ground up, step by step, in a deliberate and planned way,” Chin continued.

Meanwhile, chief executive officer of the new charitable arm of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, detailed the vision, mission and core strategies of LCF as: “A change to the way Jamaica views and treats its most vulnerable young people, so that they can be empowered and have access to a range of opportunities to succeed in life, generally, and business in particular.

“We, therefore, see our mission as early intervention to help Jamaica's at-risk youths develop the relationships, goals and capacities needed to break the cycle of poverty and crime and become productive members of society, especially as successful entrepreneurs,” she added.

The release said, in pursuing its mission, LCF will be guided by the Sustainable Socio-Economic Intervention (SSI) Modelę in its outreach efforts.

The model aims to battle the core problems of poverty — with special emphasis on at-risk youths with a high likelihood of exposure to the criminal justice system and/or involvement in crime — and deficiencies in the quality of services (solutions) offered to the youth in key areas such as education, health care, crime prevention, sports, music/culture and climate change awareness and resilience, the release said.

The foundation will implement two key interventions: The SSI Entrepreneurship Programme, a two-phased initiative that includes providing beneficiaries with entrepreneurial training and opportunities to practise elements of their training while earning money in an intensive, higly incentivised street vending programme or other micro-business sales programme for at least six months in phase one, it continued. The second phase assists beneficiaries with establishing or improving their own business through a range of hand-holding interventions for five to 10 years.

The second intervention, the release said, is the SSI Schooling Support Programme that will target at-risk youths from as early as 10 years of age and partner with primary schools to identify students due to sit the Primary Exit Profile who are unlikely to overcome the extreme risk factors affecting their school performance unless they receive assistance.

The release said each student will be provided a consistent long-term, professional relationship for approximately 10 years focused on personal development goals, which will also support the youth in his/her school, home and community.

Leo Gilling, chairman of JDETF, said the collaboration with the foundation is perfectly aligned.

“Our goals match, as we see education as the key to national development,” Gilling said.

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