The VM Foundation, in collaboration with the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB) Committee, has donated $700,000 to the Students Christian Fellowship and Scripture Union (SCFSU).
The donation came from contributions made at January’s staging of the annual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, in addition to a $500,000 contribution directly from the VM Foundation.
In a statement this week, the foundation explained that the aim is to strengthen effective Christian ministry in secondary and tertiary students across Jamaica, in a push to develop strong and rounded future leaders.
Peter Reid, deputy CEO of VM Group, in remarks at the handover ceremony held at the VM Group’s Half-Way Tree corporate office on Wednesday (March 1) emphasised that VM remains focused on nation-building by empowering students to become true leaders in diverse fields.
“The VM Foundation is inspired by the work done by the SCFSU and is pleased to be offering additional support that will be put to good use. I’m grateful for the commitment of the VM Foundation’s board of directors and its leaders for the unfailing dedication they show to improving lives,” he said.
Reverend Samuel McCook, chairman of the NLPB Committee, contended that this year’s investment is fitting as the SCFSU has contributed significantly to the well-being of many students and the wider society, adding that the Committee is grateful for the VM Group’s contribution over the years.
For her part, Petula White-Senior, vice-chairman of the SCFSU, said there is deep alignment between her organisation and VM’s objective of developing young leaders who will be able to make meaningful contributions to society.
She said the SCFSU sees itself as a national partner in responding to the current social crisis being experienced in schools.
“We are extremely concerned, like most Jamaicans, about the increased incidences of violence and other undesirable conduct among students in our schools. Urgent attention to the issues is of high national priority,” White-Senior mused, adding that the SCFSU has an unwavering commitment to national transformation and to strengthening communities through peace, justice and forgiveness.
She said the donation will be used to expand the SCFSU’s capacity to support and intervene in select secondary schools across the island.
“As such, we will be mobilising our inter-denominational community and suitable partners to increase participation in school devotions and provide resources for schools to enhance their devotional experiences.”
The Students Christian Fellowship and Scripture Union was first introduced to the Caribbean in 1948 and is aimed at sustaining effective social and spiritual development for secondary and tertiary students.
Popularly known as the Inter School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) in secondary schools, and as the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship in tertiary institutions, the organisation provides educational institutions, churches and civil society with leadership training, discipleship, and evangelism teachings. There is also focus on allowing students to become engaged in community development.