Jump for Jamaica reuses plastic, gives proceeds to charity

ASU co-sponsors event in front of SSC, jump rope sales to build orphanage


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Brandman University representative Jamel Thompson (left) spins the rope as computer science major Francis Sanson (center) jumps through it as sociology major Deija Rothenberg (far right) holds the other handle during the Jump for Jamaica event at the Student Services Plaza on Thursday.

By Joseph Bennett, Staff Writer

The Jump for Jamaica event was held outside the Student Services Center as a way to give back to the Jamaican community in the form of a creative project on Thursday.

Contra Costa College’s Associated Students Union co-sponsored the event, which highlighted possible ways to make a jump rope by using different materials, including plastic bags.

Representatives from Brandman University visited the campus to teach students about poverty situations that are affecting Jamaica and to raise funds to help build an orphanage, adjunct social sciences professor Majeedah Rahman said.

Rahman decided to use available resources by making jump ropes out of plastic bags.Every jump rope that was made and used at the event was up for sale.

The jump ropes were $2 each and the money that was raised was donated to the construction fund for the orphanage.

The ropes that were not sold are still being sent to the same location in Jamaica so that children may enjoy them for free.

Brandman University student Javier Valdovinos said, “This is a school project but I’m doing it because it is for a good cause.”

Valdovinos said the private school aims to work with CCC to host an event like this every year, or at least support non-profit organizations.

Valdovinos is also a doctoral candidate in the literature program at Brandman.

He said, “The recycling part of the project is meant to get the plastic bags out of landfills.”

ASU Vice President of Club Affairs and Inter-Club Council President Safi Ward-Davis said that she would like to see more people participate in school events such as this one.

Davis said, “The more students get involved (with events like these), the more it will teach them how to handle different situations that are taking place here (on campus) and around the world.”

Davis also said  students at events like this are exposed to certain issues such as poverty and economic inequality in developing countries

Rahman said, “I would like to visit the poorest school in Richmond or Oakland and I would like to give laptops, shoes, backpacks and all the necessities that students need but that are not receiving.

“There must be a change in attitudes as well. Most Jamaicans are happier mentally and physically, yet they have less so that shows us that we must change (in lifestyle choices).”

Jump ropes aside, for students passing by it just seemed like it was a regular event that served food.

Rahman said if students did not ask what the event was about they would not have known how much of a change they could make.

She also said she plans to host more Jump for Jamaica events so students will remain updated with people faced with economic inequalities and how college events could help allieviate their struggles.

The food served consisted of chicken legs and thighs, as well as beans and rice provided by the culinary arts department.

Most of the plastic bags used were donations by students on campus or nearby grocery stores.

Rahman said, “As a whole, the country of Jamaica is poor and that is why we selected  it to help raise funds (to build an orphanage).

“Countries in the future that we want to promote are other economically inegalitarian nations like Mexico and Guatemala,” Rahman said.