Breds Treasure Beach Foundation and Jake’s Resort – The New Benchmark in Social Responsibility

Breds Treasure Beach Foundation and Jake’s Resort – The New Benchmark in Social Responsibility

Treasure Beach, Jamaica
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

By working closely with a conscientious and proactive resort, Breds has developed a way to consistently benefit, preserve, and empower the Treasure Beach, Jamaica community. This deeply rooted partnership provides sustainability and maximizes the benefit Breds can provide when developing and executing projects. Past projects have focused on improving the lives of residents through education, healthcare, environmental protection, hurricane relief, and safety initiatives. The awareness of the benefits such a partnership provides to Treasure Beach has prompted community members to treat tourists with genuine respect and has significantly reduced the tourist harassment issues that much of ...

About You
Contact Information
Title

Mr.

First name

Jason

Last name

Henzell

Your job title

Founder and Board Member

Name of your organization

Breds Treasure Beach Foundation

Organization type

Non-Profit

Annual budget/currency

US$17,945

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

Calabash Bay P.A

City

Treasure Beach

State/Province

St. Elizabeth

Postal/Zip Code
Country
Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of tourist experience and educational benefit to tourists , Quality of benefit to residents for the destination , Quality of tourism management by destination leadership , Quality of stewardship of the destination.

Organization size

Small (1 to 100 employees)

Indicate sector in which you principally work

Community Organization

Year innovation began

1998

Indicate sector in which you principally work

General tourism, General destination stewardship/management.

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Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

Jake’s and Breds cooperatively strive to promote education, sports, cultural heritage, environmental awareness, and emergency healthcare services in Treasure Beach.

Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.

By working closely with a conscientious and proactive resort, Breds has developed a way to consistently benefit, preserve, and empower the Treasure Beach, Jamaica community. This deeply rooted partnership provides sustainability and maximizes the benefit Breds can provide when developing and executing projects. Past projects have focused on improving the lives of residents through education, healthcare, environmental protection, hurricane relief, and safety initiatives. The awareness of the benefits such a partnership provides to Treasure Beach has prompted community members to treat tourists with genuine respect and has significantly reduced the tourist harassment issues that much of Jamaica suffers from. This in turn allows tourists to feel safe and comfortable enough to explore Treasure Beach outside of Jake’s. What ensues is a cultural exchange with its people and an authentic Jamaican experience, and oftentimes a desire to help. This unique partnership of a resort and a non-profit has created a sustainable mechanism to enhance the wellbeing of the Treasure Beach community and redefine the tourist experience.

Explain in detail why your approach is innovative

Breds recognizes that the most important projects are not always the most expensive or obvious ones. Because of this, Breds’ process for future project selection involves extensive input from the local community. The most promising projects are then scrutinized and selected only after being carefully considered by the Treasure Beach community members that make up the Breds Board of Directors. This board is reflective of the stakeholders of the community, and thus is better able to select and carry out projects that have the greatest impact.
Due to the financial constraints of the Jamaican government, ambulance service to safely transport those in need of medical attention cannot be provided to the public. Therefore, after a US native doctor vacationing at Jake’s noticed the possible implications of such an issue, he assisted Breds in raising the funds needed to purchase an ambulance and provided the necessary training to 40 community members to create a strong emergency medical response unit. Since the ambulance was purchased, Breds has funded the maintenance and insurance of the ambulance. With the nearest hospital being over an hour away by car, the value of such innovative solutions is immeasurable and recognized by every member of the community.

IDB/Fomin
Si perteneces a un pais de Latinoamerica y el Caribe tienes la oportunidad de presentar tu iniciativa para acceder a fondos para innovaciones en turismo sostenible del BID/FOMIN (para mayor informacion leer la seccion sobre la oportunidad BID/FOMIN en la pagina principal del Desafio).

Deseo postularme.

Si perteneces a un pais de Latinoamerica y el Caribe tienes la oportunidad de presentar tu iniciativa para acceder a fondos para innovaciones en turismo sostenible del BID/FOMIN (para mayor informacion leer la seccion sobre la oportunidad BID/FOMIN en la pagina principal del Desafio).

Grupos comunitarios autóctonos, Atractivos naturales y culturales.

Indica cuales de estas tematicas cubre tu innovacion (elige todas aquellas opciones que apliquen)

Planificación y Gestión de destinos.

Impact
Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?

Jake’s and Breds have seen much philanthropic success throughout the last decade. Measurements of this success include financial analyses as well as measurements such as the number of students who have used classrooms built by Breds, the number of ambulance calls responded to by Breds’ emergency response unit, and the numbers of people living in houses built by or with the help of Breds. Breds believes the cost or scale of a project is not always the best measure of its impact, and that the best projects are ones that are deeply meaningful and can serve all levels and aspects of the community.
The creation of Breds has helped the community recognize that tourism, if properly and ethically managed, can serve to enhance the surrounding community. Due to the structure of Jake’s, every tourist that rents a room makes a financial contribution to Breds. Thus, when business for Jake’s is good, Breds’ budget to invest in community projects increases. Although it is impossible to argue that even the most well-planned tourism entity contributes no negative impacts to the surrounding environment, Jake’s and Breds cooperatively strive to minimize such effects.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your work, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Breds’ board is composed entirely of community members. Many of these members are employees of Jake’s or independent tour operators that serve Jake’s guests. The board members all represent different aspects of the community, and range from an elementary school headmistress to a local fisherman and tour operator. This allows all sectors of the community to have a voice. After hurricane Ivan, members of the community voluntarily showed up at Jake’s with buckets and brooms to help get the hotel back on its feet. There was an understanding that the sooner Jake’s could reopen, the sooner the community would recover.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

The Jake’s Jamaican Off-Road Triathlon has served as a major annual fundraiser event for Breds. Both Jamaicans and international participants compete in a 500M ocean swim, a 25K mountain bike ride, and a 7K country run in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The Hook-N-Line fishing tournament is another great example of both Jamaican and international entrants participating in friendly and exciting competition in Treasure Beach. Events such as these allow visitors to be exposed to Jamaican culture in a new way and have created a loyal base of Jake’s clients and Breds supporters.

Describe how your work helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area's cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues.

Local residents have a unique sense of respect for visitors whose vacations in turn support initiatives that benefit Treasure Beach. This respect engenders a welcoming environment within the community, and a real, sincere opportunity for cultural exchange. Guests enjoy participating in local events and often attend with friends from the community. After a hurricane destroyed many of the local fishermen’s traps, Breds used the proceeds from these fundraising initiatives to provide environmentally-friendly netting to replace what was lost. Fishermen were educated on the benefits of using such netting and have since decided to continue its use.

Sustainability
How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Breds has multiple regular revenue streams which include but are not limited to: $1 per room/night from Jake’s, $1 per tour from tour operators, donations from guests of Jake’s, donations from private and corporate contributors, proceeds from the sale of merchandise, matching grants, funding from The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica and USAID, as well as annual and cause-specific fundraising events. The opening of the Breds Store in Treasure Beach will also serve as an additional steady source of funding.
Annual Revenue Generated (2006): J$1,166,473 or US$17,945 at 2006 average exchange rate of J$65 to US$1
Full-Time Staff: 1 office manager, 1 street cleaner, 1 special needs teacher
Volunteer Staff: 1 full-time Peace Corps volunteer and 50+ as needed volunteers

Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?

Breds, with its multiple revenue streams and strong local board, is both financially and organizationally sustainable. Consistent community support for Breds has played a major role in the success of the many projects undertaken to date. Although sustainable, opportunities for intellectual and financial growth are continually explored. Demand for this type of innovation exists wherever a tourism entity is looking to positively impact the community it exists within.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

One of the greatest challenges Breds faces is balancing the labor resources allocated to fundraising with those allocated to working on community projects. Due to the limited availability of highly-qualified people willing to lend their time and abilities, Breds is unable to complete more projects. Also, with the recent economic decline, corporate donations and grant money have proven to be more difficult to obtain. Although Jake’s provides a captive audience of tourists, only so much can be solicited from this group. Because the innovation Breds and Jake’s have created is specific to the Treasure Beach area, it cannot be replicated to work as effectively elsewhere without adaptation. However, by raising awareness of the success Breds and Jake’s has had, other tourism entities looking to provide positive community impact will be able to utilize their cost-effective and thriving example as a model and guide in developing successful resort/non-profit partnerships.

What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

Breds plans to overhaul its website to better educate the public about their work and to more effectively solicit donations. The largest project in development is a 15-acre piece of land to be used as a public sports park with a community center that will serve as a safe meeting place for members of the greater Treasure Beach community, and a platform for a youth leadership program. Also, the creation of a sustainable development plan will ensure a low density and environmentally-sustainable development model for Treasure Beach, and guarantee the preservation of the natural and cultural beauty of the area.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell the Changemakers and media communities what prompted you to start this initiative.

The idea to start the Breds Treasure Beach Foundation originated from a practice instated shortly after Jake’s resort was established in 1995. Jason Henzell, General Manager of Jake’s, recognized the need in the Treasure Beach community for better schools, emergency healthcare, and environmental protection. As a native Jamaican with multigenerational family ties to the area, Jason Henzell is personally vested in the well being and future of the community and its residents. This prompted him to start a fund that collected $1 per room night rented at Jake’s to donate to these community needs. This fund eventually developed into the non-profit organization known today as Breds Treasure Beach Foundation (Breds is a term shortened from Brethren, a familiar and friendly way of hailing a person from the Treasure Beach fishing community). This small but meaningful idea Jason Henzell had over 10 years ago has since evolved into a sustainable and impactful organization. Although Jason knew that he could use Jake’s to help the community with its needs, he felt that it was necessary to separate Jake’s and Breds to allow each organization to focus on and complete their own specific objectives. The non-profit status allows Breds to host fundraisers and events, secure outside support, and obtain grant funding. Although Jake’s and Breds are now separate organizations, they are deeply intertwined and have functioned as a team since Breds’ inception. A great example of this integration can be observed in the mutually beneficial relationships formed between Jake’s employees and Breds. Currently, many of Jake’s employees voluntarily lend their time and efforts to assist Breds in achieving its goals. This is in part because it has become understood that when an employee contributes to Breds, whether it is in the form of funds, intellect, or labor, they are fueling the cycle of goodwill Breds provides. This has motivated not only Jake’s employees, but also other community members and tourists to contribute. When such inputs result in the construction of new school classrooms that benefit their own children, the cycle comes full circle and the benefits are fully realized. As time progresses and new fundraising methods, project ideas, and stakeholders are revealed, Breds will continue to grow and expand its reach.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Jason Henzell’s tourism career began in 1986 when he worked to open the Hyatt Regency in Cayman. He soon became the youngest front desk supervisor in the entire Hyatt chain. Native of Jamaica, Jason returned to his motherland to briefly work in the financial industry. By 1995 he transitioned to the role of General Manager of Jake’s and shortly thereafter founded Breds. Over the last decade, Jason has molded Breds and Jake’s into sustainable, internationally recognized organizations. His financial and managerial experience, and genuine desire to help the community, assists Breds to create a positive impact in Treasure Beach.

Describe some unique tourist experiences that your approach provides. Be specific; give illustrative examples.

The core philosophy of Jake’s revolves around respect for the community, and every facet of the resort reflects this philosophy. When a tourist stays at Jake’s, they immediately become aware that they are not at just any Caribbean resort, but that they are in the working community of Treasure Beach. Upon entering Jake’s, the first thing one sees is a big sign that says “Support your local farmer,” and an assortment of local produce. This “buy local” philosophy is also present in their restaurant where nearly everything on the menu, other than wine, is locally sourced. Instead of offering in-house tour services, Jake’s allows independent community members to offer their services to guests. In one case where a local entrepreneur had the idea to start a bicycle tour business, a loan was given by Jake’s to purchase bicycles and equipment. Jake’s guests are encouraged to spend time and money outside of the confines of the resort and partake in an assortment of activities such as this one, making their stay both unique and authentic. Due to the gratitude for the good work Jake’s and Breds are doing for their community, all local tour operators voluntarily donate $1 per tour to Breds.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

The next step for spreading the innovation pioneered by Jake’s and continued by Breds is to strengthen Breds from within. As Breds continues to grow, the need to expand the board to better reflect the community will become necessary. Additionally, talented business-oriented individuals will need to be recruited to formalize Breds’ business procedures and create revenue-generating ability. Breds is hoping to solicit pro-bono work from a marketing or public relations firm to help build awareness. This effort, teamed with the move to incorporate as a U.S. non-profit organization, will help to increase the reach of Breds.