Courage, strength, compassion, and service guide our vision to positively
connect our youth to their communities, to encourage, empower and
equip them to become useful citizens of the future.
To forge social and economic partnerships between our children and
various private and public-sector corporations resulting in:
- Improved access
to affordable healthcare
- Increased tuition
- Improved ties
with local and international community-based organizations and elected
- To provide
leadership to promote and implement mentoring programs
Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc. is an engine for community
development and was founded in 1994 by Gary M. Williams on the principle
of creating opportunities through empowerment and wide-ranging social
development programs. COJO is a nonprofit organization that seeks
to undertake projects of support and to give relief to disadvantaged
children in Jamaica as well as the United States. COJO's values are
built on the foundation that children are our greatest asset and must
be provided with services that will improve their existing conditions.
COJO is an offshoot
of the name, CUDJOE, leader of a band of Maroons, who rebelled against
British slavery in 19th Century Jamaica. Captain Cudjoe was a proud
warrior who took a stand against colonial oppression and fought the
British for the freedom of his people. No match for the valiant Cudjoe,
the British succumbed to the daily onslaughts of the Maroons, and
eventually signed a peace treaty allowing this group of Maroons to
lead normal, productive lives in the hilly interiors of northwest
In this regard,
COJO exemplifies duty, courage, strength and commitment in championing
the cause of needy children in both the national and international
Spanning the shores
of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea from the cosmopolitan
neighborhood of Queens, New York to the vibrant melting pot of Jamaica,
a network of dedicated individuals are working to improve the lives
of under-served children.
drive and enduring persistence, COJO, a 501(c)(3) charity, has raised
and donated funds to several non-government agencies.
- US$7,200 to
the Alpha Boys' Home
- US$6,000 to
City of Refuge
- US$4,000 to
Alpha Boys Home and the City of Refuge as scholarships.
- US$7,000 to
Marigold Child Care Centre.
- US$32,000 plus
Tommy Hilfiger clothing worth approximately US$5,000 as well as
15 wheelchairs to Glenhope Nursery for physically-challenged children.
- With COJO's
support, Glenhope also completed the construction of a children's
a number of programs at the Jamaica YMCA in Queens, New York. Among
them Project Helping Hands, an after-school program providing homework
help and social activities to keep the youngsters occupied between
4 and 6pm.and the Strong Kids Program. COJO has also sponsored a Summer
Internship Program, bring its contribution to the YMCA to over US$6,000.
COJO is actively
involved with the Leaf of Life organization in New York City, which
transports critically-ill children from various countries around the
globe to the United States for life-saving surgery. So far they have
received a donation of US$4,100.
Since its launch,
COJO has successfully enlisted the support and sponsorship of several
major companies - Air Jamaica, American Airlines, British Airways,
Estee Lauder, the Jamaica Tourist Board, JetBlue Airways, Sandals
Resorts, SuperClubs Resorts, Tommy Hilfiger, Transcontinental Express
Shippers and Western Union. Many of these are sponsors of the Annual
COJO Scholarship Gala, proceeds of which benefit the service organizations
catering to the needs of less fortunate children.
COJO is the brainchild
of Jamaican born Gary Williams who has received several awards in
recognition and honor of his dedication and commitment to eradicate
social deprivation among our children.
by the Government of Jamaica, the organization has been cited for
its humanitarian work. In August 2003, Mr. Williams was honored at
the Jamaican Independence Ball held in New York City and received
the Consul General's Award for his charitable work to the Jamaican
community both in New York and in Jamaica.
to champion the cause of disadvantaged children and continues to reach
across miles positively impacting lives.