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How do you picture a school room?
Desks full of students?
Well-dressed, eager learners?

Such classrooms are the ones the Jamaica Observer
targeted in its lead article toward the end of February, 2008
about “empty chairs” in the schoolroom.

Now picture a different school room.
One for impoverished Jamaican children.
Look at over-crowded, under-funded classrooms.
Classrooms technically limited.

One school in the Negril region was visited
by a Project team. That classroom had only one
computer for 140 students.

Libraries are a desperate need.

Computer access is a desperate need.

After-school programs and feeding centers are a desperate need.

An Unusual Opportunity and Approach to Missions

In the typical mission set-up, the organization

• identifies a particular need or set of needs,
• raises funding,
• establishes a mission base,
• and provides services to meet the need(s).

Usually, significant resources are required for property
and facilities and on-going resources are necessary
to maintain the facilities, staff the programs, and
provide the supplies for the programs. The entire
missional success is dependent upon the organization to
establish long-term funding and support.

The Jamaica Project is anything but typical.
Ian Hayles, a Member of Parliament (the equivalent of
an American Senator) and designated Faith-Based
coordinator for Parliament has initiated
the conversations surrounding the Jamaica Project.
Parliament has designated certain properties (land and
buildings or remnants thereof) to be donated to the
local communities for the development of Community
Centers. This means that the initial investment for
property in the Jamaica Project is significantly reduced.

An opportunity