The Pennants Project
For more than 10 years, Liz Millman, one of the NWJS founder members, has worked to explore ways to raise much needed funds for essential items for the two schools in Pennants, Clarendon. This village is situated on what was the Pennants Plantation which was owned by the North Wales based Pennant family who benefitted from the enormous wealth generated between the 16th and 20th centuries, for the most part using enforced African slave labour. The schools in the rural areas of Clarendon face real challenges today, with great pressures on their budgets and many financial constraints. However despite all this their academic achievements are very good.
Liz has visited schools in the area and met School Principals and Ministry of Education Officials to negotiate the possibility of setting up links with schools in North Wales.
In 2014, Leonora Headly, Chair of the PTA at John Austin School in Pennants visited North Wales, visiting schools and meeting local people.
Here she is meeting Jeannie Evans from Ysgol Gymuned Fali. Mrs Headly was delighted with the warm welcome she received and thanked the North Wales Jamaica Society for their hard work and efforts. She promised to help in any way she could.
The Jamaican Ministry of Education and the British Council were are also supporting the development of links, including twinning schools in our area of Jamaica with schools in North Wales under the “Widening Horizons” programme”. However in recent years the British Council has stopped providing funding support for Jamaican links.
John Wyer, Chair of the North Wales Jamaican Society (2011 - 2020), made sure that Mrs Headly saw some of the great scenery we have in North Wales.
Learning Links International still facilitiates linking and some schools, but without funding this is proving challenging.
Dec 2018 update: The North Wales Jamaica Society was working with Learning Links International to try to secure a Rotary International Global Grant to refurbish both schools in the Pennants community, recognising that support and assistance for these schools is very much needed. However despite the best efforts of all concerned this didn't work out.
This project acknowledged the shared histories of Jamaica and North Wales, giving schools opportunities to learn about Black History.
January 2022 update: Work progresses - Covid has given us all many challenges but check out www.spanglefish.com/pennantsproject to see what has been achieved.
September 2022 update: Good News
The establishment of Taith in Wales, with Welsh Government funding for educational links is really good news and NWJS is now linked with Taith.
Pennants Rotary Community Corps is now established in Pennants.
The Pennants Community Development Committee is now established and weekly meetings are held on Zoom.