About the Rita Marley Foundation in Jamaica
RITA MARLEY FOUNDATION (JAMAICA) LIMITED:
- To relieve financial hardship, sickness and poor health amongst the elderly, youth and vulnerable women in poor or rural communities in Jamaica.
- To preserve and protect the health of the elderly and youths, particularly pregnant women, vulnerable mothers and their children.
- To develop the capacity and skills of members of socially and economically disadvantaged communities, with special attention to education, training or retraining of community members.
- To promote the advancement of education, agriculture, arts, amateur sports and skills training in order to empower youths or relieve poverty among persons experiencing financial hardships or other socio-economic disadvantage, particularly vulnerable or pregnant women and mothers.
- To promote and encourage knowledge, creativity and appreciation of music, arts, amateur sports, culture and heritage in Jamaica.
- To promote the spiritual, cultural, social and musical ideals and goals that guided and inspired the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley O.M. during his lifetime.
- To support all legislations and the use of other resources aimed at promoting the advancement of education, agriculture, health, music, amateur sports, arts and culture.
- To promote the advancement of religious harmony and equality, and in particular to promote awareness of the Rastafarian faith and to encourage greater understanding and appreciation of the history, principles and meanings of the Rastafarian faith.
- To promote such other charitable purposes which the directors from time to time may consider consistent with the furthering of the above objects.
Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. The island, 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island containing the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it Xaymaca in Arawakan, meaning the “Land of Wood and Water” or the “Land of Springs”.
Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country’s largest city and its capital, with a population of 937,700. Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world.
Though a small nation, Jamaican culture has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island’s vibrant, popular urban recording industry. Jamaica also played an important role in the development of punk rock, through reggae and ska. Reggae has also influenced American rap music, as they share roots as rhythmic, African styles of music. International reggae legend Bob Marley is also Jamaican.
The emancipation of the slaves heralded in the establishment of the Jamaican education system for the masses. Prior to emancipation there were few schools for educating locals. Many sent their children off to England to access quality education.
After emancipation the West Indian Commission granted a sum of money to establish Elementary Schools, now known as All Age Schools. Most of these schools were established by the churches. This was the genesis of the modern Jamaican school system.
Presently the following categories of schools exist:
- Early childhood – Basic, Infant and privately operated pre- school. Age cohort – 2 – 5 years.
- Primary – Publicly and privately owned (Privately owned being called Preparatory Schools). Ages 3 – 12 years.
- Secondary – Publicly and privately owned. Ages 10 – 19 years. The high schools in Jamaica may be either single-sex or co-educational institutions, and many schools follow the traditional English grammar school model used throughout the British West Indies.
- Tertiary – Community Colleges, Teachers’ Colleges, Vocational Training Centres, Colleges and Universities – Publicly and privately owned. There are five local universities. Additionally, there are many community and teacher training colleges.