SHARING THE LOVE: Fish sanctuary gets grant funding

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 31, 2021
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Women, youth target for business grants

Approximately 3,721 women and youth in the agriculture and tourism sectors within various vulnerable communities across parishes will benefit from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund-REDI II Income Generation Grant valued at J$150.

This initiative includes the supply of critical inputs targeting women entrepreneurs and youth between the ages of 18 and 35 in both rural and urban areas. Under this sub-project, beneficiaries are required to make contribution of 5% in-kind to support the implementation of the initiative. These main deliverables will include the provision of tools, equipment and inputs for crop production, broiler and layer operations equipment, fisheries inputs, the provision of safety gears as well as apiculture and small stock and inputs.

The JSIF, in its quest to support the agriculture and community tourism sectors, has sought to join forces with several partners. These partners include; the Tourism Product Development Company, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the Social Development Commission.

Said Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Omar Sweeney: “the (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a disproportionate impact among the most vulnerable in society, including our Jamaican female workers within farming and community tourism…. We see this as an opportune time to extend support to both our women and youth who have been negatively impacted in order to make their operations more viable.”

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Germans upgrade St Catherine health centre

The Above Rocks Health Centre in St. Catherine has received a $2.7-million upgrade with funding from the German Government and the Charitable group, VFKE (Verein zur Forderung von Kleimprojekten).

Nurse at the centre, Johanna Burgher, said she was grateful for the donations, noting that a lot of persons in the community volunteered their skills during the construction process.

“We got a lot of support from people, and we appreciate and thank all of them,” she said, adding that, “more people are now coming and showing care about their health, and to me it is very important”.

Mrs. Burgher said that with the upgrading of the facility, it centre will now open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to serve the more than 100 persons who make weekly visits.

Ambassador designate from the Federal Republic of Germany to Jamaica, His Excellency Dr. Stefan Freidrich Keil, said “we looked at it, and found it to be a good project, because it is a clinic which gives help to the community, and it is very much needed, it is a wonderful project”.

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Water company gives 140 tablets to multiple schools

Several schools are praising the National Water Commission (NWC) after receiving devices from the Commission through its Tablets For Learning Initiative.

Through the initiative, the Commission donated 140 tablets to schools across Jamaica. Eleven schools from 11 parishes received 10 tablets each while six schools from three parishes received five tablets each. In addition, the NWC donated 70 SIM cards that were provided free of cost by Digicel Jamaica.

The schools that benefited from the donations are Iris Gelley Primary, King Weston Primary, Robert Lightbourne High, Mineral Heights Primary, Crescent Primary, Horace Clarke High, Oracabessa Primary, Ferncourt High, Priory Primary and Junior High, Buff Bay Primary, Draper’s All-Age, Cambridge High, Troy High, Porus High, Pondside Primary, George’s Plain Primary and Middlesex Corner Primary.

Claude Rowe, the principal of the Iris Gelley Primary School in St Andrew, expressed sincere gratitude to the NWC after receiving 10 devices for his school in September.

“I’m excited,” said Mr Rowe, noting that some of his students had difficulty accessing devices for online schooling. “These 10 gadgets will change the lives of 10 of our students.”

Aware of the teaching and learning challenges being experienced at schools across Jamaica, NWC President Mark Barnett said that the commission was moved to make the donations. “NWC is not awash with cash. Notwithstanding, we believe this is part of demonstrating our fulsome support of the community and how we ensure that community upliftment is achieved through education,” he said.

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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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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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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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Vaccination protocol mooted for certain workers

Chairman of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operationalisation Task Force, Professor Gordon Shirley, is recommending a protocol for the vaccination or testing of certain categories of workers as part of measures to improve coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination coverage in the country.

He said that implementation of the protocol should be preceded by a robust education programme aimed at addressing vaccine hesitancy and obtaining the buy-in of workers.

“We need to set a timeline for the vaccination or testing programme. We recommend that in the case of the public sector… the Government should support the programme [testing]… for a while but the workers will eventually go on their own,” he said.

“In all cases, the companies involved, whether public or private sector, should undertake a strenuous process of educating the workers, trying to understand the source of their hesitancy, and providing support to help them overcome that hesitancy, and offer as much counselling as necessary. We believe that this is an essential part of the process,” he pointed out.

Professor Shirley argued that vaccine hesitancy among various essential groups is having a negative impact on the vaccination programme. He cited the case of public health nurses, where vaccine take-up is about 50 per cent.

“It’s a particular problem because public health nurses are one of the most trusted sources of information on medical matters throughout Jamaica, particularly in the rural areas and in our inner-city communities. The public health nurse is their go to person when they are ill.

“We think that the public health nurses’ [low vaccination rate] has potentially cast a pall over the national vaccination programme, which should be removed, if we are to improve the vaccination rate,” he said.

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