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 3, 2021
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Private sector builds $50m field hospital

A new 48-bed field hospital donated to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St. Andrew, through a private sector-funded and coordinated initiative, has been handed completed.

The $50-million isolation facility is equipped with sanitisation stations, sluice room and shower, donning and duffing areas, piped oxygen, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and video surveillance.

Health and Wellness Minister Dr the Hon. Christopher Tufton commended the donors for their support in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that the initiative exemplifies the importance of partnership.

Meanwhile, the Field Hospital Project Chairman, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Gary Allen, said the plight of patients seeking treatment at the overcrowded facility inspired the project. “Working together as private-sector entities, public-sector entities and a teaching institution can bring forward something that is great. We were all motivated to help our fellow citizens,” said Allen.

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Gov’t bolstering cyber-security, says Minister Vaz

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz said that the Government is bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity by creating the necessary legislative framework and strengthening international partnerships.

He noted that as the world embraces digitalisation and there is increased use of the online space, it is imperative for the country to have up-to-date laws that provide safeguards against any possible cyber threat.

The Minister said that currently, the Cybercrimes Act, 2015 is before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, where technical experts are working alongside lawmakers to ensure that Jamaica has modern and robust cybersecurity legislation.

“As an administration, we take cybersecurity seriously.  We are cognisant that Government must take a lead role in establishing the enabling environment for the development of the information and communication technology (ICT) and cybersecurity ecosystems in Jamaica,” he said.

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Get ready for better public sector service!

The Government is creating a culture of service excellence in the public sector, focussing on quality in service delivery and customer satisfaction.

This is being done under the Service Excellence Programme, an initiative of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division of the Office of the Cabinet, which is leading the Government’s drive for continuous service improvements in the public sector.

Director General of the division Veniece Pottinger-Scott said that the public sector plays a significant role in the realisation of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 “particularly as citizens become more informed and have higher expectations for service delivery”.

She said that service excellence is at the heart of Vision 2030, which aims to make Jamaica a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

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Tree Seedlings
Tree Seedlings

From left: Marketing officer Nakeisha Sewell and marketing supervisor Kadeon Crighton, both from the Forestry Department, along with Kareen Cox, public relations and promotions executive, and Kisha-Kay Walker, retail business consultant, both from Texaco Jamaica, displaying fruit seedlings. Both entities are collaborating to distribute free tree seedlings across the island as a part of the National Tree Planting Initiative.

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Plant Life
Plant Life

Ainsley Henry, chief executive officer, Forestry Department, guides builder Tonianne Smith, of the Clan Carthy Primary School, in planting a soursop tree on the school grounds at the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew Tree Planting Project in observance of Kiwanis One Day.

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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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Tree Seedlings
Tree Seedlings

From left: Marketing officer Nakeisha Sewell and marketing supervisor Kadeon Crighton, both from the Forestry Department, along with Kareen Cox, public relations and promotions executive, and Kisha-Kay Walker, retail business consultant, both from Texaco Jamaica, displaying fruit seedlings. Both entities are collaborating to distribute free tree seedlings across the island as a part of the National Tree Planting Initiative.

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Trelawny man reaps success from farming

The lush, green hills of Spring Garden near Albert Town in Southern Trelawny is home to Cecil Robe’s 35-acre farm. There, the champion farmer plants a wide array of crops, including yam, papaya, plantain, banana and coffee, and rears more than a dozen cattle.

Last year, he started cultivating strawberries, for which he receives technical support through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). Mr. Robe said that his over 10-year-old farm, which employs five farmhands, has been a success, enabling him to live a “very comfortable life”.

He said he has been able to send his three children to university and own a nice home. “I have my children… going to university, and I’m trying to do my best to make sure that they do their best and come out and do something with the farm,” he said.

Mr. Robe said that his love for farming emerged at an early age, having watched his father cultivate crops and rear animals and earn a decent living from those ventures.

Students getting improved online service as COVID-19 spreads in Jamaica

The Justice Training Institute has been working to improve support provided to students doing online classes. With primary operations now done online, it has moved away from the original ‘pull system’, where students would initially reach out for support.

Director Principal at the institute Karen Campbell-Bascoe said that they are concentrating on providing support to its students, before issues arise.

“Two staple areas where we are focusing on in terms of support are increasing our level of flexibility as well as increasing our level of communication. Not being able to see individuals in a face-to-face mode, we ensure we turn on videos. For instance, lecturers have their videos on, [and] from time to time, students are asked to turn theirs on as well,” she explained.

Mrs. Campbell-Bascoe also said the majority of administrator-to-student communication is done using the phone. She explained: “If we are communicating on a matter relating to assessments, we do it by email and we post in our student admin system. We use social media and send it by WhatsApp. Many students now easily access their WhatsApp messages more than they do their emails or otherwise.”

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