In the beginning..!
KASSSI is an acronym, which stands for “Ken And Sadie Student Support Initiative”.
It is the brainchild of the CEO Garth Walcott who named the charity in honour of his brother-in-law Kenneth Hensell and his wife Sadie Walcott-Hensell. This couple decided to devote their retirement to the services of children and families living in rural communities in Jamaica who are experiencing financial and emotional difficulties. Ken and Sadie were “doing a KASSSI” well before the charity’s inception in 2007 and its registration with the Charity Commission of England in July 2010. However, it was during the period of March/April 2007 and following the interment of our beloved father John Lothian Walcott aged 87 years old, that the seeds really took hold. As the family celebrated Father’s passing to another dimension, we began to hone-in on the challenges faced by the local communities. Such as: high levels of unemployment, teenage pregnancy, crime, children and adult literacy deficits. We vowed to formalise our intervention and support, and set about it in a more proactive manner.
In Kings Primary School for instance, this small space is used for three functions at the same time: it is a store room, a library and a sick bay for when children are unwell. Improving the infrastructure, amenities and the aspirations offered to the young will enable them to make reasoned and educated judgments and decisions as they grow; and it is with this in mind that KASSSI was formed.
We at KASSSI are doing our best to help these under-developed, rural communities – will you help us?
Our Logo: The Jamaican Hummingbird
The KASSSI logo is the national bird of Jamaica. The Jamaica Hummingbird also called the Doctor Bird or Swallow Tail Hummingbird; (Latin: Trochilus Polytmus). It is one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of hummingbirds and it lives only in Jamaica.
These bird’s beautiful feathers have no counterpart in the entire bird population and they produce iridescent colours characteristic only of that family. In addition to these beautiful feathers, the mature male has two long tails which stream behind him when he flies. According to Wikipedia, “the next-to-outermost feather on each side of the male’s tail is six or seven inches long, far longer than its bearer’s back. Trailing behind the flying hummingbird like thin black streamers, these feathers make a humming sound.”
The origin of the name ‘Doctor-Bird’ is somewhat unsettled. It has been said that the name was given because the black crest and tails resemble the top hat and long tail coats doctors used to wear in days of old.