Written by Stephanie Koathes

Passion Project: Every Mikkle Foundation

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PhD law student Rachel Brown discovered a passion for her home country Jamaica while living abroad. With the help of others equally as passionate about improving life on ‘the rock’, the Every Mikkle Foundation was born.

Rachel shares with us how that desire to make a difference became a reality.

How did the Every Mikkle Foundation get started?
It started with a “mikkle” (sorry, I couldn’t resist). While I was in law school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I bonded with another Jamaican student over our love of Jamaica. We wanted to give something back and that lead to planning the Every Mikkle Foundation. A few months later, we had our first Christmas Eve Fun Day for children’s home residents. We will have our fifth Fun Day this December.

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 What are the Foundation’s goals?
To provide for underprivileged youth the same opportunities that many of us take for granted and to help them hone their skills and talents. We want the children’s home residents to they know they are loved, cared for and to feel a sense of stability. We teach self-confidence, pride in Jamaica, environmental sustainability, healthcare and the importance of education to the young people we serve.

What work does Every Mikkle do in the community?
We currently work regularly with six children’s homes in Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine. We have a Christmas Eve fun day, Christmas clothing drive and a book drive. As part of our efforts to teach sustainability we also do tree planting. We have a back to school drive run mostly by our Florida volunteers who collect items for school and send everything to us. We have a different event each month.

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Is there any particular person/ story you’ve come across in your charity work that has really stuck with you?
One that really stands out is the story of Monique. She came to our first three fun days as one of the children’s home residents. After being adopted last year she immediately approached us about coming back to the fun day as a volunteer. She felt the need to reciprocate after getting so much from it. So in December 2016, she came to the fun day as a volunteer. It was heartwarming.

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What is one thing you’ve learned since getting started ?
I’ve learned a lot! If we hone the talents of our youth and invest in them (it doesn’t take much), Jamaica will be unstoppable.

What changes would you like to see happen in Jamaica over the next 50 years?
For us to import less and export more. For us to move towards solar power and implement more recycling island-wide. I want to see a cleaner and safer Jamaica.

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How can people get involved?
If you are in Florida, please donate to our back to school drive and if you are in Jamaica please donate the clothes you no longer need (that are in good condition) to us this Christmas.

Check out the Every Mikkle Foundation website for more information on how to get involved or follow on Instagram @everymikkleja and Facebook.

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