SHARING THE LOVE: Grateful Hill Primary gets tablets

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 October 17, 2021
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Needy getting more support in Jamaica as part of COVID-19 fight

About 350,000 Jamaicans are expected to benefit from new grants under the Government’s COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme that is being expanded with a further budgetary allocation of $5.3 billion.

Over a period of six months, one-off grants, ranging from $10,000 to $18,000 will go to vulnerable persons in six categories at a total cost of $3.75 billion.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke made the announcement and reiterated the Government’s commitment to “put more resources in people’s hands” as economic conditions improve.

“The interventions…have to be targeted to those who need it most. Everyone is affected but in the interest of social cohesion, the Government is assisting those who are most in need,” Dr. Clarke said.

Outlining the various targeted social assistance, which will be carried out by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, Dr. Clarke informed that an automatic one-off grant of $10,000 will be provided to all heads of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH)-beneficiary households.


Sagicor Bank supports vaccination drive with rewards

Sagicor Bank Jamaica (SBJ) is rewarding Jamaicans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with free savings accounts for their children for two weeks. During this period, the bank will also automatically deposit $5,000 into the accounts of the first 100 children, and randomly select three students to win learning corners and education grants valued at $150,000.

CEO of Sagicor Bank Jamaica, Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, said the Vax and Win promotion was created to incentivize Jamaicans to better secure their children’s future.

“We want to encourage Jamaican parents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and also to instil in our children healthy money management habits from an early age, so they can develop the tools needed to secure their financial futures,” she said.

Johnson Cunningham said that in addition to waiving the account opening fees for all new Sagicor Bank Star Savers accounts during the period, the bank will also deposit $5,000 into each account – no strings attached.


Pandemic accelerates digital tourism

Plans are advanced to create a digital experience for Jamaica’s tourism product, according to Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Donovan White.

“Our digital experience is a part of our growth over the last three years.  Building a product takes some amount of time and we are very well advanced. We have spent a lot of the time during the pandemic creating new content,” he said.

Mr. White noted that digital experiences are based on the ability to convey real experiences virtually. He said that to date, “We have created some 12 or 13 virtual tours of interesting places across Jamaica that are now currently available at coupled with written content as well.”

He said that over the next several months, the Ministry and its agencies will work on a data management system and the transfer of data to information experiences.

“Using data mining is a critical component to address our ability to target, retarget, reach new markets and to penetrate markets even deeper and wider than we can today,” he pointed out.


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Flow Vax Day
Flow Vax Day

Wayne Marshall (seated) has full support as Nurse Britiana Brown administered a jab at a Flow Vax Day. Cheering on Marshall are (from left) Stephen Price, Flow’s general manager and vice-president; Michel Gantois, CEO of Jamaica Public Service; Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager at Digicel; and Kevin Hendrickson, managing director of the Courtleigh Hotel Group.

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Hospital Facelift
Hospital Facelift

JP Farms General Manager Mario Figueroa (centre), Annotto Bay Hospital Matron Claudia Hardy-McLennon (left), and CEO Marsha Lee, mark the completion of the Jamaica Producers Group-led renovation to the Annotto Bay Hospital Male Medical Ward with a symbolic ribbon cutting.

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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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Flow Vax Day
Flow Vax Day

Wayne Marshall (seated) has full support as Nurse Britiana Brown administered a jab at a Flow Vax Day. Cheering on Marshall are (from left) Stephen Price, Flow’s general manager and vice-president; Michel Gantois, CEO of Jamaica Public Service; Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager at Digicel; and Kevin Hendrickson, managing director of the Courtleigh Hotel Group.

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Don’t ink deals with developers without contacting the real estate board!

Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Board (REB)/Commission of Strata Corporations (CSC), Sandra Garrick, is urging prospective homebuyers to contact the agency before entering any contractual arrangements.

“When you are purchasing units, prior to getting involved in the transaction, contact the Real Estate Board to ensure that the developers are registered, so that your investment can be protected,” she advised.

She said that while the REB is pleased with the number of developments taking place on the island and that communities are being built, it is important that the persons undertaking these projects are registered developers.

For his part, Chairman of the REB, Andrew James, said that the entity is playing its role in driving construction, by giving the necessary support to developers, while ensuring that buyers are protected. He said that the REB is pushing for greater focus by developers on long-term needs when planning residential projects.

“We are encouraging harvesting of rainwater, we are encouraging [solar energy], because we know the issues that will come, and as such, we have to encourage the developers to put these things in place,” Mr. James said.

Private developers supporting housing needs in Jamaica

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr. said private developers have been diligently endeavouring to deliver high-quality houses for prospective homeowners.

He said a strong partnership had been forged with reputable established developers “who understand their role and responsibility in ensuring that what they are producing for our people is at a standard that is respectable and incorporates the Ministry’s objectives.”

These objectives, which he said are being advanced by the Government, encompass proper wastewater management and sound environmental planning, noting that developers are adhering to these guidelines.

While acknowledging that more needs to be done, Mr. Charles maintained that developers appreciate the need to integrate sustainable best practices in their operations. He cited, as an example, the developers of the Orchards, noting that their installation of systems to treat wastewater for use by the National Irrigation Commission was forward-thinking, given the challenges posed by climate change.


Schools get laptop from Atlanta-based charity

Just over 160 computers have been donated to 13 primary and high schools in St. James to enable needy students to access online learning.

The 138 tablets and 25 laptops were provided through a partnership between the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee and the Victoria House Foundation, in collaboration with the Adelphi Community Development Council (CDC).

The devices were presented to representatives of the beneficiary schools during a ceremony at the Holiday Inn Resort and Spa in St. James which was attended by Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

He thanked the Committee and Foundation for their gesture, noting that the provisions will serve as tools that aid in building the nation’s human capital and repositioning Jamaica “to become competitive in this new world [of technology].”

Mr. Bartlett encouraged the institutions to use the devices to “enhance the knowledge of our children and make our country a strong and powerful nation.”

Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee Chair, Dr. Yvonne Smith, said that the need for virtual classes “is now greater than ever”, based on the restriction of face-to-face learning due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

New centres to help police handle gender-based matters

Six new Domestic Violence Intervention Centres will be operationalised through the Jamaica Constabulary Force across six parishes.

The parishes are St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. Ann, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Westmoreland.

One of the centres, located at the Greater Portmore Police Station in St. Catherine, is already in operation.

The new facilities will add to the four existing centres at the Constant Spring and Matildas Corner police stations in St. Andrew and the Morant Bay and the Yallahs Police stations in St. Thomas.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said that the establishment of the six new centres, forms part of the Government’s efforts to address gender-based violence, by strengthening the police force’s ability to respond and provide support to victims and family members.

Ms. Grange said that the Ministry will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of National Security by seeking to implement a mobile response unit for islandwide response to gender-based violence, create daily crime reports across police divisions, and work with community groups.

“I have reserved a place for the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Centre Management on the Gender Advisory Council, to work with us on the implementation of the national strategic action plan to eliminate gender-based violence in Jamaica,” she added.

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