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Feature: Raising charity one child at a time
Published on July 13, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Mickel A Allen

On June 27, 2017, Aveeno Campbell, a promising five-year-old, became the first recipient of Carleas’ Dream Initiative award. The JA$50,000 (US$391) bursary was made possible due to Carleas’ efforts and the kind patronage of Regina Franklin and Dr Renee Reynolds PMP, in support of a little girl's dream to give back to someone with whom she shared commonalities and as a show of charity to a school that opened their doors to her.

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While Carlea visited Jamaica, she stopped by a humble, but promising infant school for two days. She felt bad that she was only able to bring with her small tokens of pencils, sharpeners, erasers and candy as a gift for the students because she did not want to go empty handed.

After the visit, she shared stories of her experience there and drew many parallels that she thought were “unfair” between the schools in Jamaica and the school system in Canada. She marveled that the children there only washed their hands with water – there was no soap or hand sanitizer – which in a little Canadian child’s eye seemed wrong. Countless stories were told by her until she decided she wanted to donate. It was explained to her that to help the school in a meaningful way would take time and that it wouldn’t be nice to start helping and then stop.

So, it was decided to help someone like her; A little girl who was academically inclined, mild mannered, helpful, liked the arts and most importantly was from a sole support parent household and of course it would be more meaningful and beneficial to someone who demonstrated financial need. And just like that what seemed like a dream for the eight-year-old visionary is now evolving into what will be an annual commitment to assist a child (or more as the Initiative evolves) with school related expenses, which must include a hot lunch to be provided by the school’s canteen.

The principal of the recipient’s school was elated to hear that a child meeting preset criterion would have the opportunity to receive such a humble, but beneficial gift and so with the help of the teachers and school council members little Aveeno was selected.

The Recipient’s Profile

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Five-year-old Aveeno Campbell is an active, brilliant and promising student who already displays prominent leadership qualities since her admission to infant school in September 2017.

Her quiet disposition makes her an unassuming, delight to teach as she is very observant and alert during lessons and so, is quick to grasp concepts. She is willing to volunteer and assists weaker students all while being quite capable of completing tasks independently and in a timely fashion. An all-rounder, Aveeno does exceptionally well in the creative arts.

“Aveeno is the third of three children. Her mother Christine can always be found at school whenever she is asked to assist. She volunteers by monitoring the students and also wipes tables, sweeps classrooms, assists with outdoor aesthetics or leads students with tabletop activities as the need arises.

“Aveeno's mother is a humble, poor but ambitious mother who despite being less fortunate values education and tries to ensure that her children have a chance to thrive and succeed. She presently has two older children in high school who despite the financial hardships are doing academically well.” ~ Principal, St Ann’s Bay Infant

Background

Carlea's Dream Initiative is the beginning of what we hope will become a charitable organization geared towards spreading joy, hope and assistance for sole support parents, battered women and struggling families in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica.

Despite the country’s evolution, many sole support families navigate poor living conditions or arrangements due to the lack of proper social supports and programs in Jamaica even today.

Children coming from these environments are often marginalized and so many go to school lacking the proper school supplies or are poorly nourished whilst others are merely left to “cope”.

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Carlea, who has had the privilege of traveling to Jamaica and to whom the opportunity has been granted on numerous occasions to visit various infant schools, has identified the general need for more school supplies for the students there as well as an enhanced nutritional program that is accessible by all despite financial lack.

This compassionate, eight-year-old has been using her pocket money to purchase crayons and papers for the students. It is her hope to acquire school books, teaching aids and learning and recreational resources and to contribute to the school’s lunch program, which will ensure that all students have a chance to be properly nourished consistently and equipped with school supplies as they chart their way towards academic success. Thanks to companies like Walmart Canada this too may become a reality.

Donations in kind – such as school supplies, technology and learning aids – are welcome. A presentation of “kind” will be made to the school later this year during an event being hosted by the initiative and its supporters.

Thanks are extended to Verlie’s Gardens for their donation of lovely floral arrangements and pedestals to adorn the venue for the presentation. Thanks are also extended to Event Paradise for donating her time and skills to create a logo, and for designing and producing the lovely award – free of charge – which was presented to Aveeno and her mother.

Special thanks are extended to all the persons who are contributing to the Initiative so that our end of year event is a beneficial and memorable one for the children.

Let’s all in our own way assist someone a bit less fortunate than ourselves.

While raising charity one child at time.

All are welcome.

Click here to support Give a little; HELP A LOT organized by Le Phénix
 
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