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Hanna praises Godfrey Stewart High's US$1,000-a-month breakfast programme

Thursday, November 07, 2019

MIRAMAR, Florida— Shadow minister on foreign affairs and foreign trade Lisa Hanna has commended a breakfast programme at Godfrey Stewart High School in Westmoreland, saying such initiatives help build self-awareness among children and develop fractured societies.

Hanna made this observation as guest speaker at the fourth annual dinner/dance of the Godfrey Stewart High School Alumni Association (GSHSAA), held on November 2 in Miramar, South Florida.

She praised the four year-old programme which provides breakfast daily for as many as 500 students.

“Poverty is something we [Jamaicans] have been fighting for a very long time. It is our greatest enemy,” said Hanna. “This is why I am happy to be here this evening because I like to give my support to an organisation that provides this kind of assistance to fight poverty.”

Hanna told the well-attended function at Miramar Multi-Service Complex that 30 per cent of Jamaica's population survives on US$2 a day per person. The majority of them live in rural areas like Westmoreland, adding that of the almost 650,000 students in the country's school system, nearly half are subsidised by government's Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) programme.

According to Hanna, who is also the Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern , that makes GSHSAA's gesture even more honourable.

“What you are doing is miraculous for many of these children. One, they're healthy; two, they look forward to going to school; three, they learn the soft skills of sitting and dining together with other people. Some of them have never dined with their families at home,” she said.

“These are the kinds of mechanisms that help to fix and heal our society.”

The GSHSAA started the breakfast programme through FloBah (FloridaBahamas), its South Florida chapter. Its President Devon Dobson, told the Jamaica Observer West that it costs US$1,000 monthly to maintain.

“We're in it for the long haul. The breakfast programme is seen as an underpinning of what's happening at Godfrey Stewart right now,” he stressed.

Formed five years ago, the GSHSAA stages three fund-raising events annually to assist their alma mater. Some of the funds help sponsor a student per school term.

The GSHSAA also has North Eastern US chapters which was also represented at the function.

Dobson attended the school in the early 1970s when it was known as Savanna-la-Mar Comprehensive High School. It was renamed Godfrey Stewart High School in May 2000 in honour of a former principal.

The school's alumni includes current Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett (Dobson's older brother), and singers Roy Rayon and Richie Stephens. Rayon and King Banton, another past student, performed at the Miramar event.