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JSSE targeting $100m for social investments

The Jamaica Social Stock Exchange, JSSE, is targeting $100 million to fund social investment programmes for the coming year, via a telethon.

JSSE Chairman Professor Neville Ying says the target is well beyond the amount needed to fund immediate JSSE projects, but that there will be other initiatives requiring support.

“We are happy with this concentrated effort, by which we aim to be able to raise $100 million, that is to say $36 million for the three projects and the rest for the general pool to fund other projects,” Ying said at a pre-launch event for the JSSE telethon, set for December 16-18.

The telethon will be live-streamed on the JSE’s own broadcast channel, CBX, on social media and other broadcast channels.

The JSSE was launched in January 2019, with a mission to connect civil society organisations, or CSOs, engaged in developing socially, culturally and environmentally responsible projects to “social investors” or “socially responsible” investors and donors, said JSE Group Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest.

The three initiatives for which $36 million is being sought are: JaMIN Music Entrepreneurship Project in Trench Town, Kingston to help young people develop knowledge and skills in music entrepreneurship, music production, audio engineering, events production; the Stop the Violence Project, a character development programme for students in schools and their caregivers in communities; and the mental health and wellness project called Shalom, run by NGO, Choose Life, for the training of trainers in the areas of the art and science of happiness, stress management, conflict resolution, trauma intervention, basic counselling skills and suicide prevention.

JSSE Manager Nora Blake said $6 million is earmarked for JaMIN, $17 million for Stop the Violence and $10 million for Shalom.

Since its launch, the JSSE has successfully supported two projects: Deafcan, a farm-to-cup coffee business; and institutional support for the Alpha Boys Institute.