A Good Home, Building a School in Jamaica, Business, Philanthropy

GIVING BACK, BUILDING FORWARD

Giving back — A commitment to philanthropy — runs deep and wide in our extended family. They inspire me, these relatives – the Josephs among them.

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The Josephs have done well since immigrating to Canada, but they’ve never forgotten their beginnings in Jamaica. Ameen and Glenor Josephs started the Kisko company in Jamaica, making and selling frozen pop in long plastic tubes.

They moved company and family to Canada decades ago, and now Kisko Freezies, the largest in the sector, sells frozen juice and pop products in both North American and international markets.  

When Ameen died several years ago, son Mark became president, and continued the company’s philanthropic tradition.

Kisko Team at Kinloss Trelawny

Late last year, Kisko provided money to expand and furnish a school in a poor area of Jamaica. Mark, family and staff also went there to help build it, in partnership with Food For The Poor Canada, a charitable organization that has built dozens of schools in Jamaica, and Helping Hands Jamaica.

The Kisko team members helped build the school in Kinloss, Trelawny, over several days. As you’ll see in their comments below, and in the video, it was a joyful and memorable trip:

Reggie:  “I assisted with putting up the uprights for the roof and building. I was very excited to go back to Jamaica and help to build a school for the Kinloss community. I would do it again.”

Conrad:  “I helped to offload the building materials from the container.  It was a very good experience to be able to help. I would do it again.”

Jennifer: “I helped with the painting.  I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to go back to Jamaica and be able to do this for the children and the community. It was a very moving experience for me to see the smiling faces of the children.”

Here’s video as the school is being built. You may have to turn up the audio a few times, but this story is well worth watching. Congrats to all involved! You inspire us with your good works.

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36 thoughts on “GIVING BACK, BUILDING FORWARD”

  1. Wonderful video, Cynthia. Congratulations to your family and all those who took part. Real inspiration for knowing that together we can build a better, kinder, safer world. And “prettier”, to use one girl’s word for the new school.

    1. Thank you, Diane. They deserve congratulations indeed. The first voice you heard was that of Glenor, the matriarch. She’s my mother’s first cousin and one of my favorite relatives (I wrote about her in A Good Home). Son Mark has become a strong business leader and philanthropist of whom we are all proud.

  2. What a wonderful project – it warmed my heart to see the work that was done and to think of the children who will have a school – with bathrooms! – to go to. It made me think of my family, and in particular of my grandmother, a teacher till she married and tutor after, and my aunt, Fay Simpson, who worked so hard with and for the children in her own school. Thank you, to you for sharing and your family for doing and to all those who contributed. I’m smiling.

    1. I’m glad it made you think of your family too, Margaret. They sound like terrific people. I have many relatives who inspire me greatly. In the original post I wrote (lost it when my computer crashed) I did not identify the Josephs as my relatives at all. Then I felt a bit dishonest for not doing so, and after the post was published, I realized it was good that I had: Glenor Josephs (Mark’s mother) is one of my favorite relatives and she is mentioned quite prominently in my book!

    1. Thank you. Hamlin still keeps doing his bit, thank God. I have been mostly obsessed with trying to make myself better, so I am a bit removed these days. That’s also why people like Mark, a terrific business leader and philanthropist, inspire me.

  3. OMG….I will not buy any other brand of “freezie pops” and buy 4 boxes of the Kisko Giant Freezies as soon as they become available in our area in the late spring and usually 2 more at the end of August before they are removed for the season. They are the absolute BEST! At any given time you can grab a freezie out of my freezer and today is no exception. I have about 25 left. I’m thankful to know what a wonderful business we are supporting.

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