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SHARING THE LOVE: Negril All Age packages

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 March 20, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

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Top experts to speak at free men’s health virtual summit set for April 7; register today

Men are notorious for not paying attention to their health, with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) pointing out that more than a third of deaths in men are preventable compared with 19 per cent in women.

So, if men, as a group, live a healthier lifestyle an additional three out of ten will live longer. This is the aim of the Healthy Men Caribbean Wellness Summit which will be held virtually from April 7, 2022, World Health Day, through to April 9 under the theme, Building Personal Resilience. The event is sponsored by The VM Group, and Courts (Jamaica Limited). 


PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, commented in 2018 on the “growing evidence… of differential epidemiological trends between men and women, particularly with respect to men’s premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and morbidity linked to poor health-seeking behaviours, mental health, and violence, including homicide and injuries.”

Dr. Etienne noted that men’s risk-taking behaviours and their underutilization of health services are strongly linked to gender differences and predominant norms of masculinity – what it means to be a “man.”

The three-day wellness summit is free of charge to men and the women who care about them. They will receive useful information from a team of health professionals that will improve their outlook towards achieving a healthier lifestyle. Men and their female partners can register today at this link:

Among men’s health issues to be explored is the link between lifestyle diseases and the decline in sexual performance. This will be presented by naturopathic doctor, Michelle Hamilton, who will demonstrate the effectiveness of drug-free treatment. Dr. Neil Gardner, a leading Chiropractic Neurologist in the Caribbean, is also down to speak at the summit.

Fitness instructor Shani McGraham-Shirley will take participants through the exercise paces as she conducts a session on the topic: Does Size Really Matter?” while DJ-turned counselling psychologist, Kevin Bailey, will equip men to cope with change in their lives. Tips on how to keep cool under fire will be shared by psychotherapist Dr. Janice Stewart. Other presentations include Dr. Donovan Thomas on the Art and Science of Happiness, and Dr. Brendan Bain on Sexuality in Males.

Healthy Men Caribbean Wellness Summit is being hosted by Serg Media through its Impacting Jamaica digital brand.

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They are coming! Thousands of new houses

The Government is expected to build 43,172 houses over the next four years. This is part of the 70,000 committed, said Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Providing a breakdown of the channels through which the units will be provided, he said that the National Housing Trust (NHT) has programmed 30,280, noting that the entity is overseeing ongoing construction activities at 24 housing developments with a total of 11,394 solutions.

Additionally, he said the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is expected to contribute 5,443 units.

The Prime Minister also advised that 5,134 will be provided through the Greater Bernard Lodge Development in St. Catherine, while another 2,315 will be derived through the Social Housing Programme.

Mr. Holness said the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is also expected to contribute to the housing provisions, having indicated that they identified land for this purpose in the Caymanas area of St. Catherine.

“They are actually in the planning stages now of doing a major development in that area, and they are looking at somewhere in the region of 1,000 units,” said the prime minister.


Port body cranks up support for BPO sector

The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is advanced in preparations to bring some of its business process outsourcing (BPO) assets to market to facilitate investments by a wide cross section of persons.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the proceeds will be re-invested in expanding near port logistics assets immediately adjacent to the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) and the designated location for the Caymanas Special Economic Zone in St. Catherine.

The prime minister said with the PAJ pioneering Jamaica’s BPO industry in the Montego Bay Free Zone and establishing the Portmore Informatics Park in St. Catherine “as the new benchmark of excellence in the sector”, the entity is now looking to monetize some of its investments in the sector.


Jamaicans overseas get praise for COVID-19 help

The diaspora collectively donated more than J$500 million in supplies that have assisted the Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This was disclosed by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Leslie Campbell.

He noted that the Government will continue to strengthen its partnership with the Jamaican diaspora. “In times of crisis, our Jamaican family overseas has always shown concern and extended tangible support, as reflected during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the minister.

The diaspora continues to support the country in several sectors via “charitable entities, fundraising efforts, sharing of expertise and knowledge transfers”, he stated.



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June confab: ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’

Preparations are under way for the staging of the ninth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference. To be convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the conference will take place from June 14 to 16, under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.

The event, which was slated for June 16-18, 2021, was postponed by the Ministry due to the realities of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its stakeholders.

 Undersecretary of Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, of the ministry, Frantz Hall, said: “Discussions have been held, having commenced with our Legacy Partners. The Chair of the Conference this year is GraceKennedy, and we certainly have a lot to look forward to in the staging of this conference.”

According to Mr. Hall, the conference is being held as one of the activities to mark Jamaica 60 celebrations. This year, Jamaica is celebrating its 60th anniversary of Independence.

The Undersecretary said the conference will be in a hybrid format, that is in-person and virtually, because of the continuing effects of COVID-19 and “the uncertainties about the increased cases in other countries and potential impacts here in Jamaica”.

“We will have limited in-person participation, but we want to ensure that the experience of persons that visit, that attend the conference and persons online, that their experience is the same, so we are pursuing an innovative and different approach to the conference this year,” he added.

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‘Spruce up’ for Kingston’s historic Devon House

The courtyard of the historic Devon House in St. Andrew is to be “spruced up” under a $70-million development project.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, broke ground to undertake the beautification project during a ceremony at the courtyard earlier this month. He noted that this new development thrust aims to position Kingston, particularly Devon House, “as the gastronomy centre of the Caribbean and, arguably, the western world”.

The Minister pointed out that gastronomy represents the centrepiece of the consumption patterns of visitors across the world, noting that 42 per cent of the expenditure of visitors is in food.

Mr. Bartlett informed that in 2019, visitors spent US$9 trillion, overall, moving across borders, with just over US$4 trillion of that amount being spent on food.

“Gastronomy for us in tourism represents the number-one pillar of growth – that is the driver of the travel options that people have. Devon House is going to be the standard for the presentation of destination Kingston over time,” he said.

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