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Junior Achievement Ja and Peace Corps Ja partner to prepare youth for the Global Economy

President of Junior Achievement Jamaica, Alphie Mullings-Aiken (right) and Country Director of Peace Corps Jamaica, Dr .Carla Ellis sign a Memorandum of Understanding to allow Jamaican students to benefit from mentorship

 Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ) and Peace Corps Jamaica (PCJ) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize a partnership that is part of a strategic approach to reach more youth across the island. The MOU, which was signed at the Peace Corps' headquarters in St. Andrew last Wednesday, will strengthen the capacity of both organizations to contribute to youth development across the island, particularly in rural communities. 

“We have a strong partnership with Peace Corps that has allowed us to deliver various programmes to youth across Jamaica,” commented Alphie Mullings Aiken, president of JAJ, “PCJ has recognized the importance of this programme in not only improving the life skills of these targeted youths but also in the Peace Corps volunteers being able to use JAJ programmes to promote literacy and numeracy. “ 

Since 2010, JAJ and PCJ have partnered to prepare Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) to improve the financial literacy of Jamaican youth, including the hearing impaired youth. The MOU will enable JAJ to train at least 10 PCVs each year and provide them with the tools needed to deliver structured, age-appropriate programmes to approximately 150 youth from several communities and primary schools across the island.  

The PCVs are citizens of the United States who have committed two years to support selected programmes and organizations that foster nation building in Jamaica. Although the MOU is for a one-year period, Peace Corps Jamaica’s (PCJ) Country Director, Dr. Carla Ellis, believes that the partnership will continue for much longer.  

“It has a unique learning experience for both the volunteers and the youth they will be training. In addition to improving literacy and numeracy, we believe that the interaction will improve life skills of all the players, especially in improving cross-cultural communication and appreciating various learning styles and approaches,” she stated. 

About Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ)

JAJ is a registered non-profit organisation focused on preparing youth ages 5-24 to be globally competitive in business and own their economic success. The programmes are based on three pillars; entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness. Since 2008, JAJ has reached over 25,000 youth through partnerships with the United States Agency for International Development, the Ministry of Education and several private sector companies.

About Peace Corps Jamaica (PCJ)

The U.S. Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and involves American men and women of all ages and ethnic groups who volunteer to spend two years providing assistance to nations around the world. Jamaica was the seventh country to receive volunteers soon after independence in August 1962, and over 3,800 volunteers have served on the island to date.