SOURCE: Sunwing Travel Group

Sunwing Travel Group

March 06, 2015 12:14 ET

The Sunwing Foundation Assists Early Childhood Education in Jamaica by Collaborating With Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation and Food for the Poor Canada

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 06, 2015) - The first initiative of newly established the Sunwing Foundation will be the funding and construction of a new, state of the art school in Jamaica in collaboration with Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation and Food for the Poor Canada.

The school, which will be located in the Parish of Trelawny, near Royalton White Sands, one of the Sunwing Travel Group's exclusive Jamaican resorts, will bring a much needed, upgraded facility to Trelawny, and will be an integral part of the community.

Spicy Hill Basic School is the only basic school (early childhood education facility) serving the area within 10 miles of its location and is currently housed in a cramped and overcrowded local community centre without adequate classroom space, kitchen or bathroom facilities. There is no outdoor play area and the children and teachers are in desperate need of an appropriate venue in which they can serve the growing community.

Currently, during periods of rain, classes are cancelled as the roof leaks, and improper ventilation precludes the facility from keeping the windows open. The new school will eliminate this issue, providing students and faculty the necessary environment to attend daily classes, and parents the peace of mind that their children are in a safe and sanitary facility.

At the start of the new 2015/16 academic year, the Sunwing Foundation, Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation and Food for the Poor Canada will deliver a brand new school house and playground which will accommodate the currently enrolled 75 children and three teaching staff in a modern, healthy and well-appointed building. The new school will be secure, and furnished with all necessary educational modules including desks, teaching materials, books, computer and printer, toys and playground equipment. Additionally, the school will include a separate area where children who are unwell can be cared for, proper water sanitation equipment and kitchen facilities in which hot meals can be prepared for the students.

"Through our operations we have developed great affection for the people of Jamaica, and it is very exciting to be able to assist the Parish of Trelawny in such a meaningful way," said Stephen Hunter, President, Sunwing Travel Group. "We employ many people who live in the area and want the children of their community to have the best access to proper and safe educational facilities."

Food for the Poor Canada is a charitable organization dedicated to providing both basic aid and sustainable development to communities across the Caribbean. It has been instrumental in building dozens of schools in Jamaica since the 2012 announcement of its Jamaica 50 Programme that aims to see the construction of 50 primary and early childhood education facilities in 50 months.

Samantha Mahfood, Executive Director of Food for the Poor Canada, said, "The Sunwing Foundation has been a wonderful partner from the first moment we began discussions. They want exactly what we do -- a new, state of the art school that not only serves as the first step to a successful education, but a place that brings pride to this deserving community."

Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation's mission is to improve the lives of the next generation of Jamaicans by creating a world-class education system. Its Jamaican-Canadian founder, Karl Hale, first approached Sunwing with the initiative last November.

"It seemed like a natural fit, and Sunwing said 'yes' immediately," said Hale. "Everyone I've met at Sunwing is extremely community-minded, and wants to ensure that the impact they make extends beyond employment and economic benefit. They truly want to be a part of the communities in which they serve, and we are so proud to be involved with them, this project, and hopefully many wonderful initiatives in the future."

Construction will begin in April, 2015. For information on how you can participate please visit

About Sunwing Travel Group
One of the largest integrated travel businesses in North America, Sunwing Travel Group is comprised of Sunwing Vacations, the leading leisure tour operator in Canada; Sunwing Airlines, Canada's premier leisure airline; Signature Vacations, one of Canada's leading tour operators for all inclusive package vacations and Vacation Express, a growing tour operator in the United States together with the Group's own travel retail businesses and Luxe Destination Weddings. Blue Diamond Resorts is the Sunwing Travel Group's own hotel management company, an innovative organization that operates popular resort brands like Royalton Luxury Resorts, Memories, CHIC All Exclusive, and Starfish, across the Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico; while NexusTours provides destination management services to individuals, agencies, tour groups, corporate businesses and tour operators.

About Food for the Poor Canada
Food for the Poor Canada works in development and aid in the Caribbean and Latin America with a focus on Jamaica and Haiti, FFPC is an affiliated agency to Food for the Poor Inc. (USA), the largest international relief and development agency in the United States with programs of close to $1 billion dollars yearly and a 95% efficiency ratio. FFPC works with partners in the region and through 3 affiliated charities: Food for the Poor Haiti, Food for the Poor Jamaica and Food for the Poor Guyana - these organizations are in charge of project management and distribution of goods through churches, hospitals and schools, and community leaders that work directly with the poor. Please visit to learn more.

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Contact Information

  • For all media enquiries, please contact:

    Rachel Goldrick
    Corporate Communications Manager
    Sunwing Vacations

    Samantha Mahfood
    Executive Director
    Food for the Poor Canada
    647 350 7269