AMCHAM Jamaica hosted their 10th Annual Business & Civic Leadership Awards at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday, January 28th2020.

The Chukka Foundation was honoured to be nominated for awards in the categories of Civic Leadership and Corporate & Social Responsibility (small organizations) under the distinguished patronage of AMCHAM’s Honorary Chairman, His Excellency Donald Tapia US Ambassador to Jamaica.

The AMCHAM Business & Civic Leadership Awards held annually, recognize and celebrate inspirational leaders, businesses and non-profit organizations for their vision, achievement and philanthropy in Jamaica.

Marc Melville and John Byles, Directors of Chukka Caribbean Adventures (CCA) have both been passionate in the creation and development of The Chukka Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Chukka, striving to be responsible to the communities in which the Chukka locations live and work. Extending philanthropic support since 1983 and creating the registered Foundation since 2008, CCA has taken great pride in the aid they have extended to their communities – recognizing that as a large organization, they have a great capacity to make an effective difference in their communities.

Marc Melville was nominated in the category of Civic Leadership for his role as the Chukka Foundation’s foremost advocate and visionary, aiming to support community involvement and to motivate his staff in taking leadership roles towards philanthropy. From scholarships, assisting schools and health care institutions, environmental awareness, volunteer groups, supporting local artisans, to community projects and animal welfare – the support that has been extended towards making a difference in lives has been significant. It is also important to Marc that communities seek sustainability, engage the local community and develop partnerships with other stakeholders.

For the Corporate & Social Responsibility category, the efforts of The Chukka Foundation for the recently joined  initiative launched by the St. James Police Division to partner with corporate stakeholders and start a School Breakfast Feeding Program for the children of the disadvantaged inner-city Salt Spring Community in St. James was recognized. This was an initiative of Superintendent Vernon Ellis to reduce crime by integrating the police into the community. The objective was to have the police looked upon as a part of the community instead of an opposing force. The two schools that are benefitting from this program are the Hartfield Basic School and Salt Spring Infant and Primary Schools. Children of primary school age are being targeted for this program as they are most open to learning and thriving with positive support extended to them.  Since the inception of the program, a sense of peace now exists in the community, incidents of violence have been greatly reduced and there has been a marked improvement with the children’s attendance and learning in classes. The success of this breakfast feeding program has spurred the authorities to consider its replication in other communities throughout Jamaica.

Chukka’s business is sustainable tourism. We recognize that our organization has an important role to play on the protection of the environment and educating our communities. Through a team of dedicated, motivated and environmentally aware professionals, we are committed to providing quality nature tours and services in a clean, sustainable environment. We attach a premium to our human resources being among the most environmentally responsible and community friendly groups in the tourism industry.

Some of the Chukka Foundation’s most recent projects dedicated to health facilities, spearheaded by Sheona Muschett (Foundation Manager) included partnering with the Issa Trust Foundation, American Friends of Jamaica, National Health Fund, TEF, We Care – FPGH Ltd and private donors, jointly raising USD$100,000 towards the purchase of a Pacs System for the Radiology Department at the Falmouth Public General Hospital in Trelawny.

Also, part of the proceeds from the Chukka Foundation and Hanover Charities annual Polo Charity event are used towards assisting community hospitals with medical equipment:

  • 2019 a Cardiac Physiological Monitor Machine for Cornwall Regional Hospital’s Cancer Care Centre in Montego Bay. St. James
  • 2020 a Vital Signs Monitor and Suction Machine for Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover

AmChams are affiliated with Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America (COCUSA), Washington, DC – the largest federated business organization in the world – with offices in 65 countries. Amchams work closely with the government of the host country to facilitate investment and trade between the host country and the United States.