In 2013, Nadine Wong received the Health Sciences Harry Jerome Award. Her passion lies in education, specifically children, and set up the Alabaster Gate Children’s Charity (AGCC) to help children in Third World countries with their educational needs.
We had an opportunity to speak with her recently about the charity, as she embarks on yet another trip to Jamaica to provide much-needed supplies.
What prompted you to start this Alabaster Gate Children's Charity (AGCC)?
Alabaster Gate Children’s Charity (AGCC) was started out of deficit I became aware of within the education system. While I was researching various probable solutions to the issue, an old acquaintance reached out to me on Facebook with the same concerns. I took that as a confirmation that I had to do all that I can to help broaden the education of the children.
What does AGCC do, and who are the beneficiaries?
AGCC is a not for profit charity that facilitates the needs of children in Jamaica, by providing education supplies, bursaries, backpacks filled with starter school supplies, seeds for their garden, hot lunch program (which used produce from their garden), and facilitating the International Skype Education Program.
The fact is 45% of the children in attendance at Primary Schools in Jamaica may not be able to continue their education, due to parents earning an average of US$50.00 per week. For parents balancing housing costs, bills, groceries, school fees and needs do take a toll.
How has operating AGCC impacted your life?
AGCC has impacted my life beyond words.
The more involved I have become, the more research I have conducted I am deeply convinced that all I am doing in conjunction with sponsors will create a life changing impact on the children involved. Our youths are our future, they are the ones that are the ones that will make bold decisions that will reshape and advance our world. Why not invest as much as we can into them?
This project has solidified my belief that children are to be heard, encouraged to dream and pursue goals on a daily basis. AGCC has helped to
increase my awareness of the deep need within communities to not focus just on the present state, but build the bridge that will impact them as
future leaders, engineers, educators, researchers, healer and overall world changers.
What are the greatest challenges you have experienced since operating AGCC?
The greatest challenges facing AGCC is securing monetary donations to meet the needs of the children.
Where do you see AGCC evolving to?
I see AGCC evolving on a global scale, especially through programs as the International Education project.
The project is the marriage of Social Studies and a modern version of the PenPal structure to schools decades ago using technology via Skype. It was created to give children a virtual passport into countries they may never have an opportunity to physically travel, opening their minds and sparking a desire to grab a hold of every opportunity life presents them and to never give up.
What do you enjoy most about what you're doing?
I admire the children's laughter, them just being children, witnessing them come out of their shells and explore the world via Skype. I enjoy their innocence and honesty. These may seem simple like simple things, but are of the uttermost value. There is nothing more profound than to watch a child bloom and you get to see the glimpse of what their future could be.
How can people get involved with you to support or donate to AGCC?
People can get involve by way of donating financially, academic supplies, seeds, sporting equipment, technological equipment, and more schools opening their class rooms to make the International Skype Education Project possible.