JAM | May 26, 2023

‘For Word’ 2023: Calabash partners with Lynk to drive digital donations

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Scenes from the 2017 staging of the Calabash International Literary Festival in St Elizabeth. (Photo:

The renowned Calabash International Literary Festival will make its return to the event scene on May 26, with a three-day event to celebrating the best of Caribbean writing and creativity. 

As a registered charity, Calabash is diversifying the way it fundraises locally and internationally with a focus on digital promotions and payments. For the first time, it will welcome a digital payment partner in Lynk, Jamaica’s leading digital wallet, to facilitate direct donations from residents and members of the Diaspora.

A three-day festival of readings and music with other forms of storytelling folded in the mix, Calabash first launched in 2001. After 10 successive years, from 2001-2010, Calabash moved to a biennial event until 2018.

The 2020 & 2022 festivals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year will be the official return for its 15th staging. The event, which has not been held since 2018, will include workshops, seminars, and performances.

“Calabash is a not-for-profit organisation so it’s very important to provide individuals with multiple ways to give, this is why we decided to diversify with Lynk. We know people are more likely to give when it’s easy and Lynk allows us to provide a convenient, safe and cashless option for our supporters” said Justine Henzell, Calabash Festival director.

Jamaican filmmaker and Calabash Festival director Justine Henzell. (Photo: Facebook @NationalGalleryofJamaica)

“All donations will go towards our Calabash Festival trust which supports the literary arts.”

Digital donations have been made possible through the launch of Lynk’s business platform, LynkBiz, which enables registered companies to manage payments from Lynk users. Calabash will be the first charitable organisation to formally use the business platform for donations.

“As an icon of Jamaican culture, we are especially pleased to see that the Calabash International Festival will be using Lynk to collect donations,” said Denise Williams, chief growth officer at Lynk.

Denise Williams, chief growth officer at Lynk. (Photo: Contributed)

“It’s very easy to sign up for Lynk once you have a local, Government-issued ID, and that means anyone can then look up Calabash in the app and send donations, even if they aren’t on the island. The money is instantly transferred to the organisation so that they have fast and easy accounting as they fundraise.”

Calabash will be held from May 26 to 28. The international literary festival will take over a thatch-covered stage overlooking the sea to transform Treasure Beach into the epicentre of the literary world.

Donations may be made to the event via the charity’s Lynk account using the app’s Send/Ask feature. Interested donors can look up Calabash International Literary Festival, and look out for the verified blue tick, using the app’s ‘discovery’ feature.


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