Project Winter Camp Jamaica (PWCJ) is excited to build on last year’s success! With support like yours, we were able to launch our vision into reality two years ago with the first pilot program in East Portmore, Jamiaca. This volunteer-led initiative took five specially trained Chicago-area soccer coaches who worked in collaboration with the East Portmore Portals Football Club and provided a high-impact soccer and life-skills learning environment for over 100 local youth.
The momentum and buzz from the program pilot fostered fantastic growth in 2015:
PWCJ expanded its presence in the Greater Portmore area – partnering again with the Portals Club in addition to Portsmouth Primary School – serving over 120 campers combined at the two locations with 10 coaches, while again training local mentor/coaches
- 4 coaches extended the reach of PWCJ to the rural community of Savanna La Mar, reaching 60 campers per day with help from Mannings High School
- Through perseverance, PWCJ was excited to welcome 35 female girls to the camps – working to overcome the deep rooted stigma in Jamaica associated with female athletes
- In collaboration with the JN Foundation, financial literacy workshops were conducted at each camp
- Health & nutrition workshops were also taught at each site
- The number of sponsors and partners continues to grow – allowing for camp snacks, equipment donations, and even playing kits and certificates for each camper
Despite our recent successes, we know the opportunity for further impact abounds…
The Need: PWCJ will continue to target neighborhoods that are critically under-resourced and chronically under-served. These environments often lack models for success for youth and contain voids in safe, out of school time activities. The lack of soccer equipment and dedicated adult role models and coaches has been a constant hurdle and hardship for these communities. Many of the local youth do not have the financial means to play soccer (they can’t afford boots and a ball), and thus have resorted to adopting alternative lifestyles for answers – such as joining gangs and adding to the high rate of crime and violence that plagues much of Jamaica.
The Strategy – Decades of experience working with inner-city youth in the United States demonstrate that athletic extracurricular activities coupled with high-quality mentoring can transform lives and communities. Our method utilizes the knowledge base of established coaches and other professionals to teach the beautiful game while fostering positive character development. Programming revolves around soccer, fitness and health, but stresses core values such as Teamwork, Leadership, Commitment and Sportsmanship.
Staff work diligently to implement a “coach the coaches” program model, enlisting players from the regional East Portals Football Club and local youth coaches to serve as mentors and role models to the youth who look up to them. PWCJ coaches demonstrate how to run an effective camp while providing leadership and mentorship skills along with a proven, evidence-based curriculum that enable successful camps and clinics in the future. This platform will ensure program sustainability after our departure, thereby impacting more youth in need.
Your Contribution – 100% of your donation goes towards program costs and is tax deductible. As an initiative that relies on a committed pool of volunteers, all of PWCJ’s administrative costs are donated. A small 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, The Village Project Inc, serves as the Fiscal Sponsor for PWCJ. Please donate through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t hesitate to call me with any further questions or concerns regarding this initiative. Visit our website at https://projectwintercampjamaica.wordpress.com for more information.