Black Immigrant Daily News
The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) has launched a paper-recycling project to provide additional skills and job opportunities for members of the deaf community.
The project, dubbed The Deaf Craft – Paper Trash to Environmental Treasure, is being administered through the JAD’s subsidiary, JAD Binders, and is being funded by a grant from the European Union (EU) under its Addressing Environmental and Climate Change Challenges through Improved Forest Management in Jamaica (IFMJ) programme.
Since its launch, staff at JAD Binders have been trained in papermaking with equipment purchased to support the venture.
JAD Executive Director Kimberley Marriott-Blake said the paper recycling project also presents the opportunity to turn paper waste from JAD’s seven schools into value-added products.
“JAD Binders creates several books, souvenirs, and memorabilia for individuals … We restore books, so the creation of paper adds to what we already do. It made perfect sense for us because the bindery comprised both hearing and deaf persons. It was an excellent opportunity to upskill our deaf individuals and provide an opportunity for them to explore new and unique reusable methods of binding,” she said.
Senior Binder, Pete Anges working on his latest project during a recent site visit by the European Union and Forestry Department.
The Deaf Craft – Paper Trash to Environmental Treasure project is being implemented through the Forestry Department. It forms part of the EU’s mandate to create sustainable livelihoods for communities across the island.
The JAD is now looking to expand their product line, Marriott-Blake said.
“Our bindery team is small, so our reach in the market is smaller than we would like, but people are excited about our recycled products. We are now looking to see what new markets we can penetrate and possible approaches we can take to promote these items,” she said.
She continued: “In fact, we have been engaging with current and previous clients of the bindery and will soon announce our new products with the wider society.”
From right: Executive Director at the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) Kimberly Sherlock speaks to Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at the Forestry Department, Francine Richards and Programme officer for the EU delegation to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Cayman, Andr? Fache about the operations at the bindery. The group was on a recent tour of the facilities.
Meanwhile, Andr? Fache, programme officer for the EU delegation to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Cayman Islands, has commended the JAD for its sustainable business model.
“The JAD sustainable business model is one which the EU delegation in Jamaica is proud to support under its four-year budget support programme. What makes JAD Binders innovative is its use of recycled paper and magazines to create new and interesting handmade products. As a result, the group plays an important role in reducing the number of trees that are cut down and saves energy, water and landfill space. The EU wishes them continued success as their team works to make a difference,” he said.
“One of the greatest values this project has brought is the capacity for us to not only recycle our waste products but also invest them back into our business.”
At the end of a year, when we looked at how much of our trash was comprised of paper, we had to do something, so we are grateful to have been able to make that necessary change,” Marriott-Blake said.