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Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

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Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of December 05, 2021
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

New Fortress Energy injects cash in STEM education

Fifty Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students from three tertiary institutions are getting scholarships valued at just over $26 million, by liquefied natural gas company, New Fortress Energy.

The students hail from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, the University of Technology (UTech) and the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMU).

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams said the Ministry will continue to encourage the integration of technology at all academic levels.

“We welcome this important support for education in general, but for STEM education, in particular,” said the minister. “We have been making Jamaicans more aware of what it is. The national curriculum that we have in our primary schools all the way through high school is STEM-based and I’m happy to see that at the tertiary level, you are pushing this.”

In the meantime, Principal of  UWI,  Mona,  Professor Dale Webber, argued that investing in the STEM fields forms part of the university’s mission, which is to inform and increase Caribbean development.

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New-look ‘Hip Strip’ coming in Montego Bay

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is spending about $1 billion to upgrade the Hip Strip along Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in Montego Bay, St. James.

“We are going to upgrade the entire Hip Strip… We are spending $1 billion for the upgrading,” said the entity’s Chairman Godfrey Dyer.

The proposed Hip Strip development incorporates physical improvements and new product development, with the scope of work to include widening sidewalks, rerouting overhead utility cables underground, creating thematic facades and other renovations to boost the aesthetic appeal of the city.

“We have advertised already for architects to do designs, and the applications have come in. We will be looking at the applications over this week because we want to start very early in the New Year,” said Mr. Dyer. “Once we have the designs put together, we will be having meetings like these to show Montego Bay what the plan is and what we will be doing there.”

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Thousands of houses ‘in the pipeline’, says PM Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says nearly 22,000 new housing solutions are to be built over the next two to three years by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

He noted that the entity currently has 12,019 units under construction, costing upwards of $100 billon.

Additionally, the Prime Minister said the NHT has another 9,641 units in the planning stage, projected to cost $95 billion.

“So what you [will] have is a flow. So when that 12,019 now under construction [are complete], you will have a replacement from those moving out of planning… and that’s in the pipeline,” explained the prime minister.

He was speaking during the handover ceremony for 110 single-storey two-bedroom duplex units developed by the NHT at Twickenham Glades, St. Catherine.

Mr. Holness said the 12,019 solutions represent the most the NHT has ever had under construction for any single period. He noted that more than 95 per cent of these will be affordable to low-income earners.

Mr. Holness, who has portfolio responsibility for the NHT, commended the entity for fulfilling its mandate to build houses for Jamaicans.

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Cancer Society
Cancer Society

Trecia Larmond (left), branch supervisor, BCIC Ocho Rios, makes a cheque for $150,000 to the Jamaica Cancer Society team of Executive Director Michael Leslie (right) and Marilyn Williams, St Ann/St Mary branch manager.

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Chinese Embassy
Chinese Embassy

Patsy Edwards-Henry, president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, accepts medical supplies from a representative of the Chinese Embassy. The embassy donated medical supplies, including 100,000 medical masks and 100 medical thermometers, valued at $2.1 million.

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Pineapples
Pineapples

A representative from the Annotto Bay Fire Station shows off her freshly picked JP St Mary’s pineapple alongside JP St Mary’s Assistant Depot Manager Simone Saunderson during a handover of care packages with the vitamin C-rich fruit to the Fire Brigade. The donation by JP St Mary’s is part of an overall initiative to encourage essential workers to eat healthy foods to boost their immune systems.

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Cancer Society
Cancer Society

Trecia Larmond (left), branch supervisor, BCIC Ocho Rios, makes a cheque for $150,000 to the Jamaica Cancer Society team of Executive Director Michael Leslie (right) and Marilyn Williams, St Ann/St Mary branch manager.

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‘Resilience-building’ for housing stability coming

The Government has allocated $1 million to each Member of Parliament (MP) to support resilience-building efforts in constituencies across Jamaica.

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr. made the disclosure in the House of Representatives. He said that the Ministry will be working with all MPs to identify those households at greatest risk.

“The Ministry will provide directions and support for the initiative, and I implore colleagues on both sides of the House to submit the requested information at the soonest and no later than February 2022,” Mr. Charles Jr said.

Building resilience is key in ensuring housing stability, particularly for vulnerable persons.

Minister Charles Jr. noted that climate-related disasters have been the primary drivers of internal displacement over the past decade.

“Just earlier this month, the downpour in St. James forced many families to leave their houses consequent to the devastating flooding. Undoubtedly, we must prioritise resilience building while we seek to mitigate the inevitable,” he said.

“So, I simply cannot tackle the right for housing without speaking about the implications of climate change,” said the minister. “As climate change intensifies, housing stability will be increasingly under threat. Housing is the primary determinant of people’s financial security and well-being, and while the impacts of climate change are felt in every sphere of our lives, whether directly or indirectly, our housing sector for obvious reasons is especially vulnerable.”

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Do you want to join the fire service? It’s time to apply

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) has announced plans to increase its staff complement through the addition of new positions in upcoming fiscal years.

Commissioner Stewart Beckford said the JFB’s staff complement of uniformed and non-uniformed personnel stands at about 2,164, with the number of uniformed firefighters hovering at 1,868.

“We are currently undertaking a restructuring exercise and coming out of that exercise will be some additional numbers in terms of our overall staff complement. There are an additional 151 new positions to come on stream over the next two financial years,” he said.

Persons interested in joining the Jamaica Fire Brigade are advised to visit its website at jfb.gov.jm , where the relevant information on eligibility and the application process can be found.

Among the eligibility criteria are a minimum of five Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects or equivalent.

However, the Commissioner said that having specialised skillsets gives applicants a greater advantage. “We are also interested in persons who may have certain skillsets that we are desirous of, for example mechanics and drivers, as those are always in demand; artisans, electricians, plumbers and those kinds of skillsets. We are interested in persons who have those,” said the Head of the JFB.

The JFB remains committed to carrying out its mandate of saving lives and protecting property.

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