Spreading the Health: Making a Change in Riverton, Jamaica

Aaron Chin

Bringing smiles, laughter and an improvement to the health and well being of young children in Riverton, Jamaica. In March of 2015, Riverton, Jamaica experienced one of the most devastating fires in the small community's history. Thousands of acres of landfill ignited into flames causing unbearable living conditions and extremely poor air quality. ‘One child’s family had his house burnt down, but there was no way to take the smile off his face’

– Aaron Chin

Riverton is one of the most impoverished communities in all of Jamaica. Jamaica has a poverty rate of 17%. Riverton, specifically, has a poverty rate of 90%. Wherever you are right now, stop and think about that for a second. Imagine 9 out 10 people that you are looking at, thinking of, or family members of yours live in poverty. That is everyday life in Riverton, Jamaica. The streets of Riverton, Jamaica. Ayako Turnball had a vision. 15 years ago, Ayako began raising funds through her compassionate social network. Her priority was simple, FUN. She wanted to try her best to provide a fulfilling life of education, community empowerment and play, to a community of children that were not born with the privileges that many children have around the world have. Fundamentals for Change (FFC) is the organization, and Ayako is taking charge in fulfilling the mission she laid out 15 years prior. FFC is a Canadian not-for-profit organization. Volunteers with FFC spend many months in the heart of Riverton providing the community and children with education support, goods for their health clinic and most importantly, providing love. Organika Team supporting local health clinic in Riverton, Jamaica. FFC has supported starting a free lunch program for the children, and regularly distributes clothing to parents who do not have the means. They support the families with medical aid, outreach programs, sponsoring education and FFC has built a playground for the local school.

‘This experience put life into perspective for me. We take so much for granted living in Canada.’

– Aaron Chin

Aaron Chin with local Riverton elementary student. For two years, Organika has supported with donations of supplements, school supplies and clothing, to the Fundamentals for Change foundation. In November 2015, Aaron Chin of Organika went to Riverton to support Ayako, and the Fundamentals for Change team. This was an opportunity to support the organization with Aaron volunteering hands on in Riverton, as well as to provide natural health supplements to the children living with nutritional deficiencies everyday. In Canada, we wake up every morning, with a roof over our head and clean drinking water. Most of the population has the ability to purchase goods, both needs and wants. Riverton, Jamaica, is a different story. Organizations like FFC are always available to receive support through goods, donations or volunteer support. To learn more about FFC visit fundamentalsforchange.org/ or follow @FFCJamaica to learn more. - Organika's Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Team