SHARING THE LOVE

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 September 19, 2021
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Jamaica eyes expansion of overseas work programme

Minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda said he is looking forward to working with stakeholders for further development of the Overseas Employment Programme.

Mr. Samuda reiterated plans to expand the number of workers participating in the US work programme from 13,000 to 30,000 per annum.

He said that the number of expert liaison officers to guide the expansion of the programme would also need to be increased.

“We need to get more liaison officers to promote the programme consistent to the objective as I have set to expand it threefold. We have got to get appropriate supervision for the United States, to push this programme forward,” Mr. Samuda said.

At the same time, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Jamaica, Scott Feeken, noted that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaica remains only second to Mexico as a participant in the temporary worker programme globally.

Workers on the US temporary-work programme bring an estimated $100 million in earnings back to Jamaica.

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Plant trees, protect the environment, says minister

The Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change is encouraging citizens to participate in an ongoing National Tree Planting Initiative.

“The Government is encouraging every Jamaican man, woman, child – everyone – to plant a tree, whether inland or on the coast. It is a very simple but important activity,” said Pearnel Charles, Jr.

He explained that the tree-planting initiative will help the nation safeguard food security, water security, conserve biological resources and assist with the adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness launched the national tree planting initiative on October 4, 2019. The objective is to plant three million trees within three years to support national development in the areas of climate change and reforestation to increase forest cover and establish high-value urban green spaces for all Jamaicans.

“Through the initiative, the Government wants to create an understanding of the importance of trees and the synergy between human and plant life resulting in a change of behaviour, starting with our children up to our adults, in terms of how we interact with, protect and treat our environment,” said Minister Charles.

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Customs workers buy 60 laptops for schools

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has donated 60 tablets valued at $1.2 million to two primary schools in St. James and St. Andrew.

The institutions are Farm Primary and Infant in Green Pond and Edward Seaga Primary in Denham Town, which received 30 tablets each.

Director of Internal Affairs at the agency and chairperson of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee, Tameka Goulbourne, told said that the funds used to purchase the devices came from personal donations by employees.

She said that the social responsibility committee focuses its efforts in and around communities where the agency’s offices are located.

“We have community locations in Montego Bay and our head office and other Customs locations are not very far from Edward Seaga Primary, so we engage the schools that are within our reach, within our own communities, to see how best we can assist them,” she said.

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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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PM urges vaccine ‘heroes’ to inspire others to take the jab

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is hailing Jamaicans, who have taken the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinate as heroes and is urging them to go back into their communities and encourage others to get the jab.

“You, who are here, are the heroes. You have looked past all the naysayers, all the negative, all the mischief information that is out there and you have said, ‘I am going to do what is in the best interest of me, my family, my community, and the country,” he told residents of his West Central St. Andrew constituency.

“You are the heroes, who have decided to take the vaccine and now I am going to ask you to be the ambassadors, who will go back and say to the people in your community ‘please come and take the vaccine. See, I am an example of someone who has taken the vaccine and I am hearty, I am well.’ You are the heroes on the scene, thank you for taking the COVID vaccine,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister continued to implore Jamaicans to exercise greater personal responsibility and compliance with the established COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

He noted that while curfews and extended periods of lockdown assist in slowing the spread of the virus, Jamaicans must manage their personal behaviour.

A strong food systems hold key to healthier diets

Strengthening and transforming food systems are critical to ensuring healthier diets and securing zero hunger in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), according to United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Dr. Garry Conille.

SDG 2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. Dr. Conille said that poverty, income inequality and the high cost of food continue to keep healthy diets outside of the reach of three billion people around the world.

“Hunger and malnourishment have been on the rise for a number of years around the world, even before the coronavirus (COVID-19). Before the pandemic, the percentage of the population not consuming enough calories per day –and that is the percentage of the population that is undernourished – has been on a very slight rise, according to the state of food security and nutrition in the world,” he pointed out. 

He noted that in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, there has been a consistent rise in obesity and persons who are overweight.

“It goes hand in hand with anaemia among women and other micronutrient deficiencies in children. We have also witnessed the slight rise in the stunting of children under five before 2020. COVID-19 has made things worse and made clear, the linkages between inequality, poverty, high food prices and disease,” he said.

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New trucks to solve garbage collection weaknesses

Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is seeking to procure 50 compactor trucks to improve garbage collection across the island.

He said that the estimated cost for the units is approximately $1.3 billion. He said it the acquisition of the new units will assist in addressing the waste collection challenges currently being experienced.

“We are behind in a lot of communities across the country. We have been getting a lot of calls and we want to assure the public that we have heard, and we are doing the best we can to remove the garbage as quickly as possible,” he noted.

Board Chairman of the waste agency, Dennis Chung, indicated that the procurement process for the 50 units is expected to take place over a six-month period. “With the situation we have with the garbage collection now, it can be a big challenge… We ask for the understanding of the public,” he said.

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