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While working at a similar volunteer company in Jamaica throughout the most of 2014, Jomo Barnett, our Founder, and Managing Director was forced to respond to the cry of the masses. Having been undertaking many of the roles in this volunteer company, including reaching out to volunteers who were interested in joining, meeting with them on Skype to answer their questions or help them plan their trips, and interacting with them on a daily basis when they were on their projects in Jamaica, Jomo got to know many volunteers quite well – and while they all had fallen in love with Jamaica and the support staff, they all had a similar complaint.
When Jomo would speak to them one-on-one to gauge their feedback about their program and Jamaica, they all had the same response. “Jamaica is awesome and you guys are great, but…” was the usual opening lines. They would almost always follow up with “I just don’t think the owners of the company care about actually helping people, I think they are just in it for the money.”
After hearing this chorus being sung for over 9 months, Jomo had decided to move on to create his own marketing company. After putting in his notice, on his final week of work, he met 2 volunteers who were volunteering with said company; a young man from Oman, and a young woman from the United Kingdom, who were both expressing their typical displeasure at the organizers of this volunteer company. Sympathizing with them, Jomo confided in them that this would be his final week with the company and that he hoped their experience would improve and that the owners would have a change of heart.
Excited, the 2 volunteers were eager to know what his future career plans would be, and after a lengthy discussion, they both sang out in unison that they believed that Jomo should put his dreams of opening his marketing company on hold to open a volunteer organization in Jamaica that actually cares, and that would help locals while nurturing volunteers, rather than just collecting their money.
After some deep thought, prayer and soul searching, Jomo decided to take their advice and start a volunteer company in Jamaica that is actually invested into making a difference in the lives of locals, while ensuring volunteers get top class services, true cultural immersion, and a priceless experience, that will entice them to return to Jamaica and continue their philanthropic endeavors the world over. Thus Jamaica International Projects was born December of 2014 and has been steadily growing since.
“I started Jamaica International Projects to make an impact. Though we are a small team we work hard to ensure that your experience in Jamaica will be one that is transformative and rewarding. Feel free to ask me any question you may have!”