Jamaica Gleaner / There’s nothing more warming to the soul than helping those in need.
The holidays are a time for giving and receiving, and in the spirit of the season, some companies have been focusing on giving back to the region, showing commitment to their communities and making the world a better place.
ICD Group Holdings Limited is a well-established company that manages many diverse businesses in the Caribbean, North America, South America, Africa and India. Governed by the philosophy, ‘Leading Change, Making a Difference’, which is the very essence of their decision to be a part of various social efforts throughout the year. Through their generous donation of US$30,000 to the Hurricane Relief Fund to their continuous work within their MultiCare Youth Foundation program to help disenfranchised youth in Jamaica, ICD has continued to demonstrate corporate philanthropy.
As the newly formed Cable & Wireless (C&W) Charitable Foundation continued to offer relief efforts in countries affected by the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the organisation received yet another significant donation to bolster its ongoing efforts.
On Tuesday, October 31, The ICD Group, contributed more than US$30,000 to the foundation. Peter Melhado, CEO of the ICD Group said, “What happened across so many of our neighbouring Caribbean islands could have easily happened here in Jamaica. Our hearts go out to those who have been displaced both personally and professionally.” Melhado continued, “We wanted to assist however we could, and doing so with our long-term partners at C&W seemed a great way to ensure that funds would be used to help in the rebirth of these proud Caribbean countries.”
I Can Donate Relief
The island of Dominica was ravaged by the brunt of the violent Hurricane Maria in mid-September. The indescribable horror and destruction caused a total dissolution of the livelihoods of many on the island. In September, ICD Group Holdings Limited launched the ICD – I Can Donate – Relief Programme to provide assistance to persons who had experienced the adverse effects of this tragedy. A relief initiative, spearheaded by Krishna Vaswani, sales and marketing director at Quality Incorporations VII Ltd, began as a private sector venture to provide help to those in need. ICD joined the initiative in support of Vaswani and rallied staff and customers to donate to the cause. In keeping with her decision to only send tangible items and not monetary support, ICD and its subsidiary, British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC) each donated J$250,000 worth of food, clothing and other relief items.
While Starbucks has been operating in the Caribbean for over 15 years, they’ve only very recently opened their first Jamaican branch. Starbucks’ mission statement is, “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighbourhood at a time,” and they have lived up to that name by helping those in need whenever possible. In their thrust to helping youth from diverse backgrounds and often-contentious communities, Starbucks partnered with the MultiCare Youth Foundation to create a Life and Work Skills training program for those in need. The MultiCare Foundation (MCF) was established in April 1993 under the theme “Creating Hope, Empowering Many” with endowments by ICD, FLOW and the Caribbean Cement Company Limited.
The foundation was established with six schools and a commitment to youth and community development with the main focus being on those aged 16-29 who are unemployed and not in school. The Starbucks Foundation plans to help fund this project which includes volunteer opportunities for partners to serve as mentors to participating youth in both Montego Bay and Kingston to ensure youth are ready to access employment in the retail, service, or hospitality industries.
At the most recent St Andrew High School for Girls, Old Girls Association Charity Golf Tournament, a cash donation of J$300,000 was made to the school. ICD’s Summer Internship Programme also provided a dynamic job opportunity for close to 20 young persons, who were able to work alongside executives from the various subsidiary companies. The programme allowed these high school and university students to gain work experience, while developing their transferable skills for future positions. The group continues to demonstrate their commitment to the greater good of society by giving back to various communities.
In the eternal words of Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We give back because it teaches us to find compassion within ourselves and to stay attached to values that are linked to the common good.