The Rockhouse Foundation transforms the places where Jamaica’s children learn and supports the great people who teach them.
Rockhouse Foundation has invested over US$5 million to help expand Jamaica’s childhood education system. Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has completely transformed and modernized six schools: Moreland Hill Primary and Infant Schools, Negril All Age School, Negril Basic School, Little Bay All Age and Infant Schools, Bunch of Stars E.C.I., and Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy (SIIA), in addition to the complete renovation and expansion of the Negril Community Library.
The Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy (SIIA) is a brand new school purposely built to service those with special needs in an inclusive environment. This inclusion model, mixed ability, special needs early childhood school addresses a demand that has been expanding dramatically, and for which there are almost no services in the western half of Jamaica.
The Foundation is now working with the primary school adjoining SIIA, the Sir Clifford Campbell Primary School, upgrading its facility. They had been teaching in tents following the condemning of one of its major classroom structures and the Rockhouse Foundation has built one new classroom building and renovated another. The goal is to accommodate SIIA’S first graduating class in 2020 into Sir Clifford Campbell, and in the long term expand this facility to create a full inclusion environment from daycare through high school.
The Rockhouse Foundation focuses its resources and energy towards improving early childhood education institutions, affirming empirical evidence that all children, but especially poor children, need a solid foundation in order to thrive academically throughout their education and, consequently, as self-determining members of society. After two projects improving facilities and programming in separate rural communities we have now moved to the inner city of Savanna-la-Mar, the Parish’s capital, for our latest project.
Through these projects the Rockhouse Foundation directly impacts the lives of thousands of young people and their families.
Oracabessa has always been a fishing village.
Even in its heyday as a major banana shipping port from the 1920s to 1960s, fishermen were the backbone of providing a sustainable livelihood to families in the area. Even now as tourism is poised to pick up where bananas left off decades ago, fisherfolk continue to play an important and vibrant role in the well-being of the Oracabessa community. Unfortunately, the job of fishermen is getting harder every day.
Jamaica has some of the most depleted fish stocks of any country in the world, and Oracabessa Bay is no different. As little as 25 years ago you could make your way down to Fisherman’s Beach and have no problem getting your hands on an eight, 10 or even 15 pound snapper. Today, 10 pound snappers are about as plentiful as mermaids and unicorns.
But there is hope! Since 2010 the Oracabessa Foundation has partnered with the Oracabessa Fisherman’s Group to form the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary. The goal of the Sanctuary is to protect and restore Oracabessa Bay’s natural resources while serving as a catalyst to ensure the sustainable livelihoods of the families that depend on the Bay for their income.
Island Gigs is committed to help this fish sanctuary grow and thrive.