Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Partner organisations heed Bennett's call

Published:Monday | April 16, 2018 | 12:04 AM
Ten-year-old Shantel Ferron hard at work.
Rajae Morgan paints a classroom.
Anya Hall (right) and Ackeema Johnson help to arrange books.
Kowain McBean paints a wall.
Nicola Thomas is a master with a paintbrush.
Kimberley Weir (left) and Toni Lee (second left) get into some recycling work at the Danny Williams School for the Deaf on Saturday.
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The Davina Bennett Foundation's initiatives to assist institutions supporting Jamaica's deaf community have attracted partner organisations. "I've always had a passion for volunteering and giving back to society, and what Davina is doing is remarkable," said volunteer Kimberly Weir, paintbrush in hand. Weir is a part of the United Nations Pageant, currently serving as Miss Tourism Jamaica UN 2018/19. "The act of giving back to society has always been a part of me, and ... this opportunity, has helped me to act on it," Weir told The Gleaner.

Weir is also the founder of her own philanthropic organisation called Take Back Our Voice (TBOV). "This foundation is for people who have been victims of sexual abuse, and that includes myself. So, I'm trying to be that person who will help others to speak out through poetry," she said. Weir currently has 15 volunteers across Jamaica, the UK, and the US supporting TBOV.

The Sanmerna Foundation partnered with Bennett to make Saturday's activity happen. Project Manager of Sanmern Stephen Josephs said, "Our primary function right now is actually education. Davina called us up, and we said, 'Sure! Not a problem'. It's actually within our mandate, and we see this as something that we could get involved in. We're looking at coming in with her more - big time - where the Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf is concerned."

Sanmerna works primarily in inner-city communities, providing scholarships at the primary school level. They stepped in to help the Danny Williams School just a few months ago, hosting a Christmas treat for students and staff. "We'll definitely partner with her on any other venture. We're here to support," Josephs told The Gleaner.

K.S.