ST JAMES, Jamaica — Street People Liberation (SPL) Foundation, a youth-led non-governmental organisation in Montego Bay, St James, plans to expand its charitable activities overseas in 2023.
"It's going to be a big year for us and this is a good start. One of our first projects kicks off in Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain in March. The date will be confirmed soon as we're still working on establishing all the details for that specific event," said the Foundation’s director, Ashli-Ann Broughton Jackson.
She was speaking with journalists on Friday after accepting, on behalf of the group, $850,000 from the NCB Foundation's Grant-a-Wish programme. That was the second place prize in the charitable organisations category.
As its name suggests, SPL Foundation will focus on helping the homeless and according to Broughton Jackson, the group will also do marine related projects while in Trinidad as it also has an interest in charitable work that has a positive impact on the environment.
Her interest in Trinidad is linked to friendships forged with peers from the Caribbean island through a mutual interest in the Rotary Club. She hinted at projects in other locations outside of Jamaica, but opted not to provide details as there are still aspects to be finalised.
Despite SPL’s plans to expand its charitable activities beyond the country’s borders, Broughton Jackson stressed that work will also continue locally.
"For Jamaica, a lot of the work that we're doing is with the shelters. It's getting them up and running, maybe expanding, getting a few more beds, getting more medication, getting persons on board to help with training. A lot of that will be part of our initiative," she explained.
The group recently prepared meals for residents and employees of Refuge of Hope shelter at Albion in the parish, which has benefitted from its assistance in the past.
SPL Foundation was among more than 900 nominees for the NCB’s Grant-a-Wish programme. The top place finishers will share $15 million in prize money.
According to its website, SPL Foundation was established in March 2014 by a then 17-year-old Broughton Jackson. The high school student wanted to make a difference in Montego Bay by helping the city’s homeless. The group began by proving modest meals then graduated to feeding projects that helped larger groups.