October 27, 2012
I am an anthropology professor at an American university. For the past 13 years I have been assisting with development projects in a Jamaican community. Eight years ago we established a fisherman's cooperative. Food for the Poor immediately came to our assistance, providing us with a headquarters building, a cold storage facility, and four ocean-going boats, as well as building 100 homes for extremely poor families. In addition, they stationed a fisheries expert in the village, who built artificial reefs to attract fish. With their assistance we have become the foremost fisher's group on the island and a leading environmental organization as well. We recently secured land from government for a new preschool, and FFTP will be building a 2400 square foot concrete classroom to replace three board shacks that serve over 60 children. The only stipulation they have made is that a small portion of each catch from the donated boats be set aside for community development projects. I was skeptical of them at first, worried about their religious foundation, but there has been no proselytizing whatsoever. FFTP has been an excellent partner; I can't find fault with their operations on the ground.
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