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SHARING THE LOVE: Retired educators honoured for long service

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

00:00 / 05:03

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

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News for Week of February 26, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

OCT-DEC 2022

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Jamaicans urged to protest child labour

More Jamaicans are being implored to speak out against the scourge of child labour.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Colette Roberts Risden, made the call in a speech delivered on her behalf by Director at the Ministry, Gillian Corrodus, at a Child Labour video competition awards ceremony in Kingston.

She said that adults have a duty to protect children against exploitation and to steer them away from child labour and called for more voices to be raised against the issue.

“Child labour is one of the greatest challenges facing our society and yet, it is an issue of which so little is said,” he noted. “It has been perpetrated on those among us that are the most vulnerable and voiceless for decades and perhaps centuries, tolerated and ignored, quietly eating away at the fabric of our society, and contributing to many of the blatant social ills with which we grapple and for which we seek solutions.”

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MAY-JUN 2022

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Small-business solar loans at EXIM Bank

The National Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica is offering a medium-term credit to small and medium-sized business owners that wish to invest in solar energy solutions.

With an interest rate of 7.5%, borrowers can take out loans ranging from $5 million to $50 million.

The bank has set aside money to cover up to 85% of the total costs associated with buying and installing suitable solar equipment.

With a margin of 60% on new equipment, the bank is willing to accept solar panels and equipment as collateral.

The loan is "non-revolving and a secured product [that] can last up to seven years," as stated by Winston Lawson, the bank's general manager of the trade and commercial lending division.

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Jump in wi-fi hotspots in rural Jamaica

In the new fiscal year, which begins on April 1, the Universal Service Fund (USF) will deploy an extra 63 WI-FI hotspots across the island.

Daryl Vaz, the Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology, revealed this at the opening of a public Wi-Fi network at Portland's Buff Bay Primary School.

He stated that, "we have now pushed out the 189 community Wi-Fi hotspots that we committed to in the last financial year, and on top of that, we have another 63 that have to be completed (in 2023/2024)" despite delays caused by supply chain issues.

So, he concluded, "it signifies that connectivity is coming so much closer to a number of rural places."

Free, safe hotspots are "a critical instrument in giving access to technology and information to all Jamaicans, regardless of social, economic, or geographic regions," he said.

Lifespan Company Ltd donated six interactive whiteboards (Smart Boards) to Buff Bay Primary School at a ceremony conducted on October 2, 2018.

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For peace of mind and healthy living, it is critical to go in pursuit of happiness. Noted counselling psychologist Andre Allen Casey says happiness is a state of mind and thinking. Get your FREE Happiness E-Guide and special podcast. They will help to change your mindset in your quest for happiness.

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New funding for agri project exceeds $2 billion

The Southern Plains Agricultural Development Project will get $2.3 billion to fund its continuation in this fiscal year. It is part of the 2023-24 budget presented to the House of Representatives by Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke.

The goal of the initiative, which kicked off in December 2019, is to boost agricultural productivity through the modernization of the agricultural sector by making irrigation water available on fallow sugar estates. Arable land in Amity Hall and Bridge Pen in St. Catherine, and Parnassus in Clarendon, will have wells and a canal network built and developed as part of this project.

The Water Resources Authority last year approved abstraction licences and three wells will have been drilled and tested for yield in Parnassus. Additional tangible results of the project include the development of a gender-responsive training manual for farmer groups, the completion of irrigation and road/draining works, and the design of agricultural structures and an irrigation network.

 

For the new fiscal year the project's expected physical goals include beginning the construction of agricultural buildings, completing the construction of an irrigation network and roads/drainage infrastructure, and finishing the repair of Hartlands canal.

Efforts by the government to boost 'quality of life'

Local Government and Rural Development Minister Desmond McKenzie says the government is making it a priority to improve the quality of life and economic prospects of people in rural areas.

According to him, this is why the Rural Development Programme is investing so heavily in enhancing local infrastructure.

In the first stage, the programme will help four additional communities across the island, including Chambers Pen, which is the pilot community. The Ministry is leading the effort in partnership with several State entities.

Chambers Pen has undergone a number of improvements including the installation of a water supply system, the wiring of homes for electricity, the provision of internet access, and the construction of low-income housing. Improvements were also made to the local elementary school.

Who stands for freedom?

By Joseph E. Stiglitz

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NEW YORK – The Republican Party (GOP) has long wrapped itself in the American flag, claiming to be the defender of “freedom.”

 

The GOP believes individuals should be free to carry firearms, spew hate speech, and eschew vaccines and face masks. The same goes for corporations: Even if their activities destroy the planet and permanently change the climate, the “free market” should be trusted to sort things out.

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