Jah Works is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization that connects people in developing areas of the world with access to basic needs, education and employment, in order to build sustainable communities.
To date, we have completed multiple projects in partnership with the rural community of Bluefields, Jamaica, such as installing rainwater catchment systems, rebuilding homes, and providing scholarships for those seeking higher learning. Secondarily, we also create jobs in the tourism sector by regularly hosting small groups of travelers to the area to provide them an immersive experience, along with an opportunity to give back to the community.
Where did you get the name? So, “Jah” is another name for “God”, which is frequently used in Jamaica, and is also a throwback to our roots as a faith-based missions project.
How the actual name came about? Well, we love this story. In early 2016, before we formed as an organization, the founders and community partners were enjoying a few adult beverages on the local beach in Jamaica after a day of rainwater catchment installation work. A few weeks earlier we’d kicked around a few names, and “Jah Works” was one of them – although we hadn’t made a final decision and hadn’t mentioned it to anyone.
Sitting there on the beach, the conversation turned to the work we were doing, and that we needed a name since we were seeking to become a stand-alone organization. One of our community partners, King, said (in patois), “Yuh know what yuh fi call it, mon? Yuh fi deh call it, ‘Jah Works’, mon, because yuh duh His work am bless up the people of Bluefields with wata!” (in English: “You know what you should call it? Jah Works, because you are doing His work to bless the people of Bluefields with the gift of water!”) The founders glanced at each other, grinned, and filed the paperwork to incorporate with that name once back on U.S. soil.
Why are you so passionate about this? Our core beliefs are that every human has the right to have access to food, water and shelter. We also believe that to create sustainable communities, the proper development is necessary where education must be available, and jobs must be created.
The founders love to travel and experience different cultures throughout the world, and believe that we all have the responsibility to help preserve the cultures we are visiting, especially those that are indigenous, instead of trying to incorporate our own culture into it. In other words, and like the hiking and backpacking adage: “Tread lightly and pack out what you pack in”!
What is one of Jah Works’ most meaningful experiences? There are so many, but the one that made us realize that this was important work, was on our first trip to Savanna-la-mar, Jamaica in 2009. Our planned projects were to work with kids and paint a church building. We wrapped up that work earlier than expected and our host took a small group of us on a walk through the Little London community, where we came upon a home where a blind man lived.
As he came out to greet us, we saw that his wooden door was mostly rotten, attached only on one hinge, and “locked” by turning a small piece of wood to hold the door closed. You could tell it was a struggle for him to open and close his door, so our team decided on the spot that we would install a new door. Long story short, when we handed him the keys and as his face lit up as he touched his new door to “see” it, that’s when we realized what a big difference we could make in people’s lives, through simple actions such as “just” installing a door.
How can I get involved? There are many ways; check out our Give Back page for how to donate goods or funds.
If you are interested in group travel, please email us at JahWorksExperience @ gmail.com.
Also, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to keep up with all the latest news. Check our Facebook events page, where we post upcoming group trip dates, fundraisers and other happenings.