The second Ideas Market session was held today on 19th June 2021.
It was a successful time of sharing ideas, learning and offering up skills. There were 3 participants; a social worker located in Jamaica, a nurse located in London of Grenadian heritage, and a counsellor and founder of a UK based fund that supports projects based in Jamaica. Each person had several years of both professional and lived experience that was of true value to the Market!
As most of the participants were new to the Ideas Market we started with a short presentation explaining how the Market operates, and its purpose. Looking at the diversity of experiences and heritage in this small group, it became apparent that it would be beneficial to open up the Ideas Market to all participants from the Caribbean. Issues affecting children and young people are very similar throughout the Caribbean, so expanding our scope would mean we could have a greater positive impact on children’s lives in the region. We share distinct but familiar cultural backgrounds and practices, and have such a rich bank of knowledge and experiences. Therefore, it makes sense to work together – so if you’re from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, The Bahamas, Guyana, Belize, Guatemala, Suriname, Haiti, Dominica and beyond… you are officially welcomed to participate in our Ideas Market! 😀
What We Discussed
The founder of the fund said they support projects that have a target in mind, a timeline, beginning, middle and end goals and an evaluation methodology. If you’re interested in getting support for your charity/project in Jamaica, get in contact with us and we’d be happy to connect you with this individual. This participant also shared links to the One Step Forward Consultancy, which hosts child protection conferences in Jamaica. The conferences are now held online via Zoom, due to COVID-19 – this information was valuable for us, and the nurse from Grenada who would like to start supporting children there.
All participants agreed that in order for any of us to effect lasting change for children and young people, it is essential to work with the family unit as a whole. A parenting course is something our trustee, Camile, has been passionately considering and planning this week, so the additional suggestions were very timely. One participant suggested having a family night each month, where parents and their children can come to our safe haven, bond with their children and learn and share helpful information and advice about positive parenting, and keeping children safe. Each session would have a different topic to address such as, how to help your child(ren) with their homework, non-violent discipline, boundaries and listening, zones of regulation and respecting each other, amongst others. We think this is achievable, and the 4 weeks in between sessions give parents the opportunity to reflect on and practice some of the ideas or techniques shared.
We discussed always having something to offer families when they come, such as a dinner, or a gift bag. Additionally, the founder knows a lady from North London who makes and donates mosquito nets – something we know some of our families in St. Thomas would appreciate. We also learnt that the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) in Jamaica visits communities and offers parenting classes – we are interested to know if this has started and if they visit St. Thomas. Alternatively, the founder of the fund suggested the possibility of her fund sponsoring our art therapist to run these events for families.
We at Araba Scott Children’s Foundation (ASCF) shared some examples of the needs we have as a charity. Participants offered:
– to read to some of our children (virtually for now).
– counselling support and a listening ear for children in need.
– support and suggestions about how to develop a parenting group.
ASCF’s main focus is on the recruitment of:
– volunteers and staff from St. Thomas.
– a fundraising volunteer and fundraising and income-generation trustee.
Having these people on board would help us increase the frequency of our ACE Learning Literacy and Numeracy Programme, to ensure children ‘catch up’, after not being in school for over a year. Currently, we are only aware of a select group of children back to face-to-face learning in Jamaica – those who have exams and some students of private schools. Across the Caribbean and Latin America, millions of children have yet to return to school, and poverty, neglect, and poor educational attainment is what organisations like us are working against. Therefore, the recruitment of these team members would also allow us to begin our arts and culture programme, and fund further courses of art therapy for children in need. By clicking on the Donate button, you can see how much some of our activities and projects cost. If you can help, have the required knowledge and expertise, and the time to commit to this work, we encourage you to apply today! Applications close on June 30th 2021 – email Alicia Louise for queries and to send your application: firstname.lastname@example.org
We learnt that when travelling to support a registered charity, if you send an official letter to the TUI Correspondence Team and British Airways Community Investment Team, you may get approved to carry extra weight on your luggage if the contents are to be donated. This is new information for us, so we were thrilled to find this out!
Finally, we would like to thank all our participants for taking the time to share parts of yourself, your life experiences and most of all your ideas! We have certainly gained a lot from you, and hope all the participants have learned something from us. As always, we wish to see you again next time (10th July 2021) for our second Ideas Market. In the meantime, we invite you to join us on our social media platforms; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn!
Much love from,
The Araba Scott Children’s Foundation team!