Friday, 13 October 2023 16:21

Joint $2 Million Pledge: Major Companies Commit $500,000 Each to CAFFE

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In a remarkable demonstration of unity and dedication to democratic principles, the Mayberry Foundation, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Stewarts Automotive Group, and WISYNCO have joined forces, collectively pledging an extraordinary sum of $2 million to amplify the endeavours of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE).

Each organisation has contributed $500,000, showcasing a potent collaboration aimed at safeguarding the integrity and impartiality of elections.

Since 1997, CAFFE has mobilised volunteers nationwide to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard. With a vision to engage 400 volunteers for the upcoming elections and a primary focus on 6th form students in high schools, CAFFE aims to foster a culture of active civic participation among the youth.

Grace Baston, Chairman of CAFFE and Principal of Campion College, underscored the critical importance of involving young citizens in the democratic process: "One of CAFFE's objectives is to inspire our youngest citizens to engage in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote. The vitality of our enviable democracy relies on a citizenry that not only recognises the significance of this process but also ensures its integrity through personal action."

CAFFE places significant emphasis on involving high school students to cultivate democratic participation, as evident in their initiative to establish democracy clubs in schools across Jamaica. These clubs serve as platforms for fostering discussions on various aspects of Jamaican democracy. Additionally, they aim to encourage students who are 18 years old to register to vote, while also preparing those who are over 17 years old to serve as CAFFE election observers.

Baston further elaborated, underscoring the transformative potential of their partnership with these esteemed organisations for the upcoming elections. "Our collaboration with each organisation will enable us to realise our goals in the upcoming elections. It will empower us to recruit, train, and deploy sixth-form students in polling stations across the island. By working

closely with the Mayberry Foundation and esteemed allies like Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Stewarts Automotive Group, and WISYNCO in this and future endeavours, we are playing a pivotal role in shaping a civic-minded and dedicated citizenry—the very bedrock upon which the foundation of a robust democracy is built," she affirmed.

Baston aspires to have at least 300 volunteers on election day to promptly report on poll quality, underscoring their commitment to good citizenship.

As the elections draw near, CAFFE is in urgent need of support. While they have received invaluable assistance from allies like the National Democratic Institute and USAID, local fundraising efforts are of paramount importance. Therefore, the generous $2 million donation from these esteemed organisations serves as a timely beacon of hope, propelling the momentum needed to recruit and train volunteers.

For their demonstration of solidarity, CAFFE commends the Mayberry Foundation, SVL, Stewarts Automotive Group, and WISYNCO for their unwavering dedication and steadfast support of this monumental mission. Together, these organisations are making a substantial impact on shaping the democratic future of Jamaica.