In commemoration of its 100th anniversary, Massy Distribution has launched its social initiative 'Forces for Good' in Jamaica.
More than $4.5 million is being granted to six projects in the sustainable development goal areas of food security, healthy living and education.
According to head of strategy, CSR and corporate communication for Massy Distribution Jamaica, Patria-Kaye Charles, the decision to embark on this project was based on the company's commitment to the region.
"Last year, as a group, our vision was refined to emphatically state our commitment to being a 'Global Force for Good with a Caribbean Heart'. We re-imagined how we wanted people who interact with Massy companies and Massy people to feel across all the countries we operate in," said Charles.
She added that the Force for Good initiative enlisted all 700 staff members from the three Massy companies operating in Jamaica, Massy Distribution, Gas Pro and IGL, in order to nominate and select the winners of the grants.
The entities to benefit are Clifton New Testament Church of God, Duxes Basic School, the Matthew 25:40 home for boys and young men, Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre, Chevannes Basic School, and Franklin Town Primary School. Each has been awarded $775,000.
Clifton New Testament Church of God, which serves people from communities including Cassava Piece, Big Yard, Mannings Hill Road, Havendale, Constant Spring, and Red Hills Road in St Andrew, will add solar panels to the compound to reduce its power bill. Savings secured will be redirected to the church's benevolent projects.
Pastor of the church, the Reverend Munroe Wisdom Sr, expressed elation at being one of the entities selected by Massy.
"We do things like health fairs, we distribute care packages, and we have the elderly come in once per week to do activities here, and we do feed them. We also have a basic school on the compound, so if we can reduce our JPS bill, then that would leave us with more funds to assist more within the community," said Wisdom Sr.
Principal of the Franklin Town Primary School, Rohan Trevelen commended the move by the company to offer a grant towards the school's breakfast programme and a smart television to assist in its programmes.
Treleven explained that the breakfast programme has been an expensive endeavour for the school and it can provide only porridge or fritters daily to the 135 students of the institution.
"My mother always said, 'empty barrel can't stand up and full bag can't bend'. Sometimes in addition to school being a safe place for them, the hot meal that they get here is perhaps the only meal for the day, so I wish more companies would come and help in these situations because we have students who definitely need nutritional support," said Trevelen.
In the meantime, managing director of IGL Limited, a subsidiary of Massy, Peter Graham, was one of the staff members who nominated the Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre.
"Not only are we attending to their educational needs, we're also impacting their overall welfare," said Graham.
The school's principal shared that the grant will do a world of wonders for the students who are dogged by the stigma associated with their location near the Riverton landfill.
Forces for Good grant funds will also be used to re-erect a perimeter fence at the Chevannes Basic School in Kingston, to help build a new house for young men living with HIV at Matthew 25:40, and support the Duxes Basic School in St Catherine to keep its canteen and breakfast programme running.
The Massy Forces for Good initiative will be executed in all eight Massy territories across the Caribbean, the United States of America and Colombia. Nominated projects fall within one of five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: food security, healthy living, education, small business, and sustainable ways of working.