The People’s National Party (PNP) has awarded $600,000 in bursaries to 17 children of party workers under the O.T. Fairclough Trust Fund.
Osmond Theodore Fairclough was a radical leader in the 1930s and is responsible for the ideological structure of the PNP.
The fund, initiated by PNP President Mark Golding in 2020, was named in honor of the founding father in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the party and country at large.
Beneficiaries at the high-school level received $25,000 towards their auxiliary fees, while tertiary students received $50,000 towards tuition or boarding.
At the educational grants awards ceremony, held at the PNP headquarters on Saturday, Golding said the party increased the number of beneficiaries from 11 last year to 17.“I commend you for your efforts, and I hope that you will find this award to be useful and helpful on your journey,” he told bursary recipients.
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Golding said that a political party is a voluntary organisation that relies on the goodwill and commitment of people across Jamaica.
“The truth of the matter is that many of our party workers are not well off at all. Many of them are struggling to survive, and they have commitments to family and all sorts of challenges and problems, and I felt it was appropriate and necessary to show them that the party is a caring organisation,” Golding said.
The PNP president said housing, economic development, and self-reliance are other areas of aid being pursued by the trust fund.
Beneficiary Khayla Graham thanked the trustees and the wider PNP for investing in her education.
“We would not be here today without our party’s generosity. I would like to express gratitude on behalf of all the beneficiaries and our parents. We are extremely grateful for this support,” Graham said.
The students were recommended at the PNP regional level and vetted by the trust fund’s grant board. Kisha Anderson, one of five trustees, charged beneficiaries to “show up” for themselves throughout the academic year.“
Deliberately make an effort to be resilient. Hold on to hope … . I ask that you also show up for somebody else in your community,” she said.
Meanwhile, PNP General Secretary Dr. Dayton Campbell commended Golding for his vision in putting forward the idea of a trust fund to assist party workers tangibly.
Campbell added that education remains a redemptive tool for many Jamaicans, and urged the trustees to continue their efforts to support students.
Source: Children of PNP workers’ reap scholarships – published in the Jamaica Gleaner and written by [email protected]