SunNation, Barita team up to help the needy

In times of adversity, there are some who rise to the challenge to help others in need. The following is the latest in the Jamaica Observer series, COVID-19 Kindness.


SUNNATION, which has made a name for itself promoting regional carnivals, recently teamed up with financial industry heavyweight Barita to galvanise public support for those in need.

It was the perfect blend of the entertainment and business sectors, with care packages being delivered to Food For the Poor and Mustard Seed Communities.

“With the obvious devastating effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to do something meaningful,” explained Philip “PP” Palmer, managing director for SunNation.

It all began in April when SunNation hosted a virtual version of its annual show, Sunrise Live for Charity, with a stellar line-up of stars. According to SunNation, it was headlined by soca legends Iwer George and Voice, as well as international DJs Puffy, Private Ryan, and Jazzy T, with Konshens and Afro B making special appearances, and hosted by Barrie Hype.

To boost participation, Barita pledged donations on behalf of every viewer who watched the free concert that was streamed live on SunNation’s Instagram page.

“We are very pleased that when we first approached Deputy Chairman Paul Simpson with the concept he immediately said, ‘Yes, Barita was fully on-board’, and they have been an amazing partner in this initiative. Additionally, we sincerely thank our attendees and Advantage General who contributed to the fund-raiser,” Palmer added.

There were also donations made by viewers during the event, and the total amount raised went up to $2 million.

The funds were used to provide 5,000 pounds of farm produce — a boost for local farmers — and $500,000 worth of protective masks. There were also cash donations provided to the charities ($380,250 each) to be used for purchasing groceries.

“We can’t [say enough] how thankful we [our staff and the children helped] are for all of you and for this really amazing donation,” Reverend Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, founder of the Mustard Seed Communities, said as he received the donation of goods and a cheque from Palmer and Ramon Small Ferguson, vice-president, asset management and research, Barita Investments.

The handover was done in stages. On May 26, both charities received farm produce, while cash for groceries was also provided to Mustard Seed Communities. Then on June 12, both charities received masks and Food For the Poor also received cash for groceries.

“We thank you from the bottom of our heart,” said executive director for Food For the Poor Kivette Silvera to SunNation’s Palmer and Barita’s Head of Wealth Management Kerrie Baylis. “Without someone like yourselves, we couldn’t do what we’re doing [for] persons out there in need that we serve on a daily basis. You know in Jamaica we say ‘every mickle mek a muckle’, if everyone helps one, then each life will be changed.”

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