Wednesday 20 June, 2018

Marley for Education helping hundreds of students

It’s back-to-school time again and the Marley for Education 2017 programme is helping to ‘ease the pressure’ for 164 families from Kingston and St Andrew, and St. Ann.

The annual programme largely fulfills the Bob Marley Foundation’s education mandate and gives educational support to students ages three to 17 years, from basic to high schools, by awarding scholarships of school books, school fees or school uniform support.

Now in its eighth year, the social intervention programme continues a tradition started by Bob Marley of giving financial assistance to parents in Trench Town, who were challenged with the ever increasing costs of educating their children.

"Bob helped hundreds of boys and girls to stay in school and to achieve their academic goals," the organisation said in a press release.

The goal of Marley for Education is to provide tangible educational support for as many qualifying students as possible. The programme’s geographic scope has been broadened and now has scholarship beneficiaries from communities such as Tivoli Gardens, Majestic Gardens, Seaview Gardens, Greenwich Town and August Town and attending High Schools such as Charlie Smith High, St. Hugh’s High School, St. Andrew High School, Wolmer’s Boy’s School and St. Andrew Technical High School.

This year, for the first time, applicants were required to fill out and submit applications online. This was followed by the Foundation’s evaluation and selection process that determines the final list of scholarship awardees. Although many parents admitted that they are not ‘computer literate’, they were able to get the help needed to meet the application submission timeline of July 31st. Mothers and grandmothers recounted all the challenges they overcame, in order to qualify for the well needed educational assistance.

The programme’s successful students are selected from families deemed most in need of assistance and gives priority to children from single parent homes, homes where parents are unemployed, deceased or physically disabled or where a child in the home has special needs. Students who are advancing to Grade Six, or were successful in the GSAT Exams and going on to High School, are also prioritized.

A special feature of the Marley for Education programme is the Book Club. The parents and children receiving assistance with their book lists understand that the books belong to the Marley for Education Book Club and they are used and returned to be redistributed to students the following year.

"One of the high points of the programme, is the feeling of gratification you get from knowing that you have helped someone who is really in need!" the news release said.

"This was the common sentiment expressed by the volunteers who worked hard to ensure that the 2017 programme is a huge success," added the release.

"Mothers, fathers,  grand-mothers and guardians, have openly expressed their gratitude to the Bob Marley Foundation for assisting them to send their children off to school in September and  achieving their academic goals in the future."