Community (24)




The number of undernourished people increased for the third consecutive year in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has exceeded 39 million people. In addition, almost one in four adults is obese, while overweight affects 250 million; more than the entire population of Brazil.

For this reason, for the first time, four agencies of the United Nations system -FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP- have joined together to publish the Panorama of food and nutrition security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018.

This year’s edition focuses on inequality, a fundamental issue for the region. Inequality contributes both to hunger and several different forms of malnutrition. In Latin America, 8.4 per cent of women are in a situation of severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9 per cent of men. In ten countries, 20 per cent of the poorest children suffer three times more chronic malnutrition than the richest 20 per cent. Indigenous populations suffer greater food insecurity than non-indigenous people, and rural populations have higher rates of poverty than urban ones.

Without addressing inequality in food security and nutrition, we will not be able to fulfill the commitment we have adopted to leave no one behind, established in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

It is necessary to understand why malnutrition, lack of micronutrients, overweight and obesity have a greater impact on people with lower income, women, indigenous people, people of African descent and rural families. Above all, we must act in a differentiated way to ensure that these social groups and the populations of territories that are lagging behind can also fulfill their right to food.

FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP are convinced that it is perfectly possible to transform our food systems to ensure a better diet for all, in a way that is more sustainable an adapted to climate change.

Today we understand that we need actions in production, international trade, processing and marketing of products to have healthy food. We can work to improve environments, in a way that facilitates access to healthy foods, and encourage practices that help people make more informed and responsible consumption decisions.

It is possible to change the current course of the region to accelerate progress towards the goal of eradicating hunger and all forms of malnutrition: the Sustainable Development Goal 2. For this, what we need most is to recover greater political commitment with the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

Some governments are already implementing a new generation of policies to address the specificities of the groups that are suffering the most. Innovative public policies to reduce overweight and obesity are also being applied for the first time.

For these policies to be successful, we need the participation of everyone. Together we must think of ways for all the actors of the food system to act more responsibly with society and the environment, from producers to consumers. Together we can build food systems that ensure adequate food in the present and in the future. Together we can guarantee a healthy life for all and become the zero hunger generation.

*Julio Berdegué is FAO Regional Representative; Carissa F. Etienne is Director of PAHO; Marita Perceval is Director of UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean; Miguel Barreto is Regional Director of WFP

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Sizzla leads August Town revival


BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

SIZZLA is working to bring cultural and historical awareness within his August Town community through his Sizzla Youth Foundation.


The artiste is spearheading month-long celebrations for the August Town Emancipation Birthday, commemorating 177 years since the St Andrew community was officially established.


"It is paramount that we remind the youths of the community where they are from and the rich history and tradition which they must uphold. They must be aware of the strong links to the fight against slavery as the original settlers in these lands came from the Mona and Papine plantations... so we just need to re-education the community so they know where they are coming from so as to chart the course forward," said Sizzla.


The celebrations started Wednesday with a peace march through August Town.


Other events include the unveiling of a wall dedicated to renowned August Town spiritual leader Alexander Bedward. This takes place tomorrow.


A Senior Citizens Day is scheduled for August 2. August 6 is Bedward Day at the Bedward Temple in the community. The Greater August Town Violence Prevention Day is set for August 13, while the World of Reggae Concert featuring Sizzla and friends is at the UWI Bowl, Mona, on August 16.


The month's activities are completed by the Back-to-School Family Affair and Treat at the UWI Bowl on August 30.


According to Sizzla, his foundation which was founded in 2010, wants residents and persons from outside August Town to be aware of the good that has, and can come from, the area.


"We want to eradicate violence from August Town. This can only be achieved by instilling values which stress Africa and education. We must rejuvenate the minds and with that we can achieve much," he said.


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NINE Jamaicans yesterday emerged winners from a strong list of 35 finalists to be named recipients of the inaugural Butch Stewart Community Awards.


The ceremony, held at the Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, St Ann, sought to merit finalists’ contribution to nation-building in the areas of education, health services, protective services, arts and cultural preservation, volunteerism, community growth and development, entrepreneurship, young achievers and social work.


3665143190?profile=originalThe winners in the respective categories are Grace Lawrence from Teak Way, Kingston; Neville Ballin from Grosvenor Heights, Kingston; Nickoyan Brown from Barbican Road, Kingston; Joan Shields from Falmouth, Trelawny; Carmen Wilson from Bamboo, St Ann; Norma Fenton from Galloway District, Westmoreland; Alfred Bryan from Spanish Town, St Catherine; Tishauna Mullings from Seaforth, St Thomas; and Carla Bingham Ledgister from Clarks Town, Trelawny.


Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International and ATL Group Adam Stewart, in addressing the finalists, said the decision for the awards came from a desire to put together a programme where the community votes for the community. “Let's see how many amazing candidates Jamaica has. It’s our Jamaica to fix and we want to stay on the positive side. Let’s open our eyes, go into the community and see wonders,” he said.


Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott said the awardees’ selfless service to their communities is the formula needed to experience sustainable economic growth.3665143145?profile=original


“Your contribution is much appreciated and we want our country to experience major growth and development,” Arscott said, adding, “We’re all stakeholders and we must work together to build better communities and a country.”


Member of Parliament for North East St Ann Shahine Robinson said community activism is important even as she commended the initiative for harnessing a culture of responsible persons.


“We need to be keen on celebrating success and standing in authority with those who are blazing a trail,” she said.


Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and ATL Group Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, for whom the awards is named, said the recognition of the community heroes was long overdue.3665143408?profile=original


“The people being recognised here today should have been recognised years ago,” he said.


According to Stewart, charitable actions are an act of love and not force. He noted that because of the nature and spirit of Jamaicans “we have managed to emerge from economic hardships”.


Winner of the award for community growth and development Norma Fenton said her involvement in service has spanned 20 years and to give back leaves her feeling fulfilled.


“I love taking care of people and it gives me more energy and love when I see people reaching far from the training they go through,” she said.3665143502?profile=original


Nickoyan Brown, who emerged winner in the protective services category, said giving back to his community is innate.


“It is something I feel in my spirit and when I’m giving back I feel like I’m alive. The feeling of knowing somebody benefits from and appreciates the little I give is what keeps me going,” Brown said.


Another of the nine winners, Alfred Bryan who was awarded for his service in entrepreneurship, said creativity and ingenuity have always been a part of who he is. Having training in masonry and carpentry, he said, he is at peace with whatever job he does.


“It’s stressful, but it’s rewarding and I’m glad I didn’t give up on helping persons with my craft,” he said.


Tishauna Mullings, who copped the award for young achievers, said she was honoured to celebrate the principles that have made ‘Butch’ Stewart inordinately successful.


She said the Butch Stewart Community Awards should be emulated by all members of the private sector in order to experience growth as the good can outdo the bad.


“There’s nothing wrong with Jamaica that can’t be corrected by what’s right with Jamaica,” Mullings said.


The finalists received a complementary weekend for two at Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, while the winners received a five-night and sixday stay at Sandals Beaches Resort. Additionally, they all received certificates of commendation and engraved plaques.3665143520?profile=original


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You could tell that Adam Stewart has been deeply touched by the passing of Flanker community activist Marilyn Nash.

He spoke with such emotion last Thursday about her work in the tough Montego Bay neighbourhood that it was clear he and his Sandals Resorts group had lost a very close and dear friend.

"She was one of the most incredible persons I have ever met," Stewart said of Nash as he explained the concept that drove Sandals to launch an award in honour of community service which the resort group has named in honour of its chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart — Adam's father.

"She allowed the Sandals organisation to become so much more prominent and allowed us to enter the Flanker community, which today provides about 40 per cent of our staff," the younger Stewart told guests attending the launch of the Butch Stewart Community Awards at the Jamaica Observer head office on Beechwood Avenue in Kingston.

"That community has had very trying times over the years and Marilyn was the lady [who]... didn't only teach people to read and write, but how to use computers, to play musical instruments," he said.

"She had about 150 children that she took care of every day... Her vision of wanting to take her community to the next level is what this is all about. Marilyn is the ultimate example of what the Butch Stewart Community Awards represent," Adam Stewart explained.

"I thought long and hard how to explain what this programme is about. And I think, to understand how it got to this stage, we need to clearly understand the genesis of Butch Stewart's life," the younger Stewart said.

He reminded his audience that his father "grew up on a beach in Ocho Rios as a simple Caribbean boy" and over the years has demonstrated a deep sense of respect for people in communities.

"If you watch him in a function, oftentimes you see him go and shake the hand of the bartender before he shakes the hand of the general manager in our organisation, and it's a constant reminder as to how our organisation got to the stage that it got to," Stewart said.

"The thread of our organisation started with our chairman believing in communities and what communities can do and when you make communities strong the positives it can bring to a country," he added.

Nominations for the awards opened last Friday and will close on June 9. The awards will be presented in 10 categories:

* Health services;

* Youth achievers;

* Education;

* Farming and agriculture;

* Social work;

* Volunteerism;

* Community growth and development;

* Arts and Cultural Preservation;

* Protective services; and

* Entrepreneurship.

Jamaicans who have received a national award are exempted from the Butch Stewart Community Awards, which will be adjudicated by a panel comprising Dr Duane Vernon, Dahlia Harris, Oneil Grant, Scarlette Gillings, Kenrick Williams, and Dr Henley Morgan.

We're trying to seek out the unsung heroes, celebrate them, recognise them, that they can continue doing what they do," said the younger Stewart, who is also the CEO and deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts International.

"We believe as a private sector organisation that we cannot rely and must not rely entirely on Government. We believe that the private sector has a role to play in initiatives like this," he said.

The resort chain explained that the top five nominees in each category will be selected and invited to an exclusive luncheon at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort where the winners in each category will be announced.

"Nominees will be assessed on their overall contribution to the development of their community, their contribution to their specific social sector, years of service, the impact their work has had on the lives of community members, and feedback from the community, among other criteria," the organisers said in a news release.

Two Saturdays ago at the thanksgiving service for Nash's life, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips said she represented "the best example of Jamaican citizenry".

"Her humanity shone forth in whatever she did. She did good for all whom she met and didn't care who they supported politically or what they stood for otherwise. She was a child of humanity," Dr Phillips said.

Nash's life of service did not go unrecognised as she received several community awards, including the Sam Sharpe Award for Community Service in 2004; the Kiwanis Club of Providence International Women's Day Award 2010; and the Social Development Commission Award for Community Service in 2011.

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                         Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna among these school-age children in Accompong

ACCOMPONG TOWN, St Elizabeth— British High Commissioner to Jamaica David Fitton believes that the long and colourful history of this Maroon community should be marketed to boost tourism and provide viable business opportunities.

He does not, however, believe that it should be done at the expense of losing the unique culture of the area. Speaking on January 6, at the 276th celebration of the signing of the peace treaty with British colonisers — led by Maroon leader Captain Kojo (also spelled Cudjoe) — Fitton said that Maroons should focus on attracting visitors to their rugged mountain communities.

The High Commissioner observed that the theme of the Maroon festival was aimed at ending poverty, promoting education and the safeguarding of culture. As it relates to ending poverty Fitton said “… I think the secret to that is to find another way to become active and to do business.3665141754?profile=original

The business, I think, here is one of attracting people from outside — from other parts of Jamaica , from other parts of the world.” The British envoy, who was visiting Accompong for the first time, said that it was “an area of great beauty” and he looked forward to returning and taking visitors along. Accompong, located in the Cockpit Country of northern St Elizabeth, close to Trelawny’s southern border, is named after the Leeward Maroon leader Accompong, who was brother to Kojo.

The latter is credited for his role in the formalising of a peace treaty with the British which ended decades of guerilla warfare. To the east, the Windward Maroons who fought the British from bases in the Blue Mountains and its environs also subsequently agreed to peace terms. Historians identify Jamaican Maroons as descendants of slaves who were left behind by Spanish colonisers when they fled Jamaica following invasion by the British in 1655, as well as runaway slaves from British plantations.

Some historians suggest that the early Maroons interbred with remnants of the Taino people who occupied Jamaica when the Europeans arrived just over 500 years ago. Maroon communities in Jamaica are led by an elected ‘colonel’ and are said to adhere to traditional practices and are exempted from property taxes. Maroon leaders boast of very low or non-existent crime in their communities. “Outside influence need not be a bad thing providing it doesn’t interrupt what you have of your own and it adds to the learning that you already have,” said Fitton.3665141749?profile=original

He added: “Believe me, the culture of the Trelawny Town Maroons (the Accompong Maroons are so called) has much to offer and I think it’s important that we continue to remember that. If we stop to think for a moment, a society which is so close, which has no need of police and which does not suffer from the evil of crime is a rare thing anywhere in the world. I think you have all the ingredients for perfection here if you keep hold of them (the culture) tightly and you introduce them as best you can to others as you have done to me today.”

Colonel Noel Parthay of the Scott’s Hall Maroons in St Mary, used the occasion to express his dissatisfaction with the treatment of Maroons in the context of what he said were treaty commitments made by the British. He spoke of unfulfilled promises of financial contribution regarding education and the development of infrastructure.

As is usual with the January sixth celebration in Accompong, hundreds of people flocked to the community to witness centuries-old rituals, listen to speeches by Maroon leaders and visitors, and enjoy light entertainment. As usual vendors lined the narrow streets, selling food and a variety of goods ranging from trinkets to clothes.3665141818?profile=original

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December 10, 2013

The St. Elizabeth communities of Southfield, Yardley Chase, Bellevue and Queensbury, will come alive with the sounds of "giving" on Wednesday December 11 at 10:30 am  as the Principal, students and  teachers of the Mayfield All Age School visit and hand out  Care Packages to shut-ins and the elderly who reside within the various communities.

The Principal, George Lewis, and the school community, made an appeal to the stakeholders – parents, teachers and business partners - for the donation of food items and toiletries to be placed in the school's ‘Christmas Hamper’.  

The items were then used to prepare  these special care packages which the Principal is sure will be appreciated by the recipients and will help to bring some cheer to these individuals during the Holiday Season.

George Lewis recently became the Principal of the Mayfield All Age School, and he has been developing a very positive relationship with the parents and residents of the communities that surround and support the school.

"The parents, residents and the business community have been very supportive and this is our way of giving back.  It  is the season of giving and so we are happy for this opportunity to show the various communities that we appreciate their support.  

We recognize that sometimes at this time of year with the many activities that we are involved in this particular group of individuals is sometimes inadvertently overlooked and so Mayfield All Age School has made this group its focus.  We want to ensure that they also feel the love and joy that the Christmas Season brings," said George Lewis, Principal.

Mr. Lewis indicated that the school community aims to make this an annual activity on its calendar.

For further information please contact: George Lewis, Principal - 434-9753

For this and More News You Can Use subscribe for free

File Photo: Students of the Mayfield All Age School at an event health to enrich the students there recently.

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Tired of not having the news within your Jamaican communities showcased by traditional media houses in Jamaica.


Well join us in showing the world the things that need highlighting in Jamaica Land we love.


Maia Chung Television (MCTV) will be rolling out MCTV News this September 2013.


This will be a showcase of the news, issues and important events in your various communities with the pictures you send us.


We will collect your news and events via email:


Maia Chung Television wants news from across Jamaica and the Caribbean, and your formerly IGNORED community needs and issues will be highlighted on MCTV's website.


In some cases where possible, your stories will make our TV feed as well.


MCTV plans to help you get the solution using media that you need, as well as highlighting more of the GOOD news our nation  and region seems to be missing.


 The MCTV website streams to thousands around the world locally and regionally daily.


 Your news stories will also be shared on our   MCTV facebook page which alone has an 85 thousand person global reach per annum.


Subscribe to the website now for free and like our page and tell your friends here and overseas - so you can become a part of the (R) evolution.3666657899?profile=original3666657940?profile=original

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April 16, 2013


So MCTV is a platform that seeks to do well and good things.

Our environment is being degraded here, regionally and internationally.

 It is never too late for a shower of rain so please note this MCTV endorsed effort. Please join with C-CAM as they do what they can to save what we have left of our beautiful God given environment.

The Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation is an environmental Non-Government organization, that has its office in Lionel Town, Clarendon Jamaica… for over 10 years and has been working ardently; in the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) as well as the  South Clarendon and South St. Catherine areas of Jamaica.

C-CAM has been actively involved in many aspects of the community, the areas include:  mangrove replanting, expos and educational ventures, and projects that involve various stakeholders, conservation projects and climate change awareness programmes.

C-CAM is currently in the process of developing a new management plan for the PBPA, that has an integrated management approach …incorporating vested stakeholders in the process.

As the environmental organization in the area, C-CAM is trying to increase its efforts to include the immediate community of Lionel Town, in its environmental awareness plans - to get more persons involved in taking care of the community.

For Earth Day 2013, and the 14th anniversary of the Portland Bight, C-CAM is embarking upon a development and beautification project for the Lionel Town Community Park.

C-CAM is seeking assistance from corporate partners that have worked with the group over the years, as well as seeking new support from any new interested partners; to enact an overall greening and infrastructural development for the park over time.

C-CAM’s first step will be to host the first Earth Day Beautification “Save the Trees” activity - on Saturday April 20, 2012 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Volunteers and community persons are being invited to join with the C-CAM team to clean the park as well as participate in tree planting activities along the perimeter fence that skirts the park.

MCTV asks you to get involved in the noble endeavor!

To get involved contact Sharlene Rowe at or (876) 292-7625/ (876) 289-8253 for additional information. 

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Increased mosquito control activities including community based education and promotion, fogging and source reduction - treatment and destruction of breeding sites – have so far taken place in 162 communities across the island since the Ministry of Health started its intensified programme a week ago. Approximately 500 communities have been scheduled to be fogged under the programme.

The country has recorded an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever since the start of the year, with the Ministry reporting 663 suspected cases as at September 15, 2012 compared to 887 for all of 2011.

Director of Health Promotion and Protection, Dr. Kevin Harvey says the intensified activities will continue for at least the next three weeks. “While the Ministry continues to destroy breeding sites and adult mosquitoes in various communities, we urge members of the public to assist by looking around their homes and getting rid of anything in which mosquitoes can breed. Vases, old tyres, discarded cans, flower pots, barrels, drums and anything else that can store water can harbor mosquitoes,” he explained.

Dengue fever is spread when an Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites an infected person and then bites others.

Symptoms of dengue fever include pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, weakness, fever and possibly a rash. If you have any of these symptoms and notice any signs of bleeding or severe abdominal pain, worsening weakness, difficulty in breathing or fainting and pale, cold or clammy skin, seek emergency care at the nearest hospital.

Persons with symptoms of dengue fever should not take aspirin nor any other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Figures from the Pan American Health Organization indicate that from 2001 to 2012 more than 31 countries in the Americas have seen a total of 9,847,209 cases of dengue. Central American and Caribbean countries are among those that presented the highest incidence rate during this period. Dengue in Jamaica is usually seasonal with increase in cases occurring after the rainy season or from September to March.

Jamaica is among very few countries in the Region with an integrated management strategy for the prevention and control of dengue fever.3666653380?profile=original
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Making the link for autism - Jamaica


Wednesday, September 05, 2012


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JUST when it seemed the Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation (MCADF) would have to close its doors, help came in the form of New York businessman and philanthropist David 'Squeeze' Annakie.

Annakie, CEO of the LinkUp Media Group, hosted Oasis in the Sun — an event held at his Greenwich, Connecticut residence on Sunday to aid Chung's struggling organisation.

x.png(L-R) ANNAKIE... hosted an event last Sunday to assist the Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation. CHUNG... I don’t have a complete figure yet, but by all reports it should be good

It was the second such gesture by Annakie. A grateful Chung is happy for the support.

"It was even more successful than the last one. I don't have a complete figure yet, but by all reports it should be good."

The first fund-raiser netted J$1 million.

Annakie's companies include the monthly Jamrock magazine and LinkUp radio and television, which cover the entertainment scene.

The MCADF is a non-profit organisation which assists children and adults suffering from autism and various disabilities across Jamaica. It helps to source funding for equipment, therapy, parental counselling and diagnostic services.

Chung, the mother of an autistic child, started the MCADF in April 2008. She says it is challenging to raise funds given its NGO status.

"We cannot legally earn, so (it takes) constant donations, human resources, skills and money to do the work that the Government is not investing where it needs to be," she said.

Chung hopes that there will be a fully-equipped and staffed facility for autistic persons in Jamaica by next year.

Autism is a disorder which affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. The Ministry of Health estimates that there are about 500 children born with autism each year in Jamaica.


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well it is official The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation feeding of the homeless programme is up and running we have had two successful months, we focus downtown and we do it on a Wednesday, if you have money to buy fresh food and water call us on 507-1833 we do the buying and distribution. I and my team of high school volunteers commend the Jamaica Constabulary Force for providing us with a police escort to carry out the work. This is an example of the Jamaican People Partnership (JPP) that can yield good things for the powerless in our country and help growth and social provision development - and the need is great, the security presence prevents fights over the food we distribute as the people are quite hungry and thirsty. This is a new department of the Foundation and we need support for more food and water.PS I am forming a political party JPP - all those who want to solve problems just link me - we can run in the next election.

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Jamaican-American now Lauderhill Chief of Police

3665137082?profile=originalJamaican-American and former Lauderdale Lakes Chief of Police, Andrew Smalling, was on Thursday (Sept. 15) sworn in as the Chief of Police for the City of Lauderhill – a city with a high concentration of Jamaican and Caribbean residents.

The move from being in charge of a police department of a city of some 30,000 residents to one of over 70,000, is a huge step for the new police chief. However Smalling, who spent his early years in Jones Town - an inner city community in Jamaica, sees it as a significant challenge he is prepared for and welcomes.

In an interview with National Weekly shortly after the ceremony, Smalling said he has two immediate objectives.

The first is to direct the Lauderhill Police Department to be community oriented with the goal of enhancing relationships between the department and the community. He will work to ensure that the police becomes positively involved with homeowners (including stepping up neighborhood-watch programs), general residents and the business community and wants the department to take an active role in the city's chamber of commerce.

Lauderhill youth will be a special focus in this community outreach as he definitely wants the department to have a positive influence on the youth. He said already efforts were underway through a community police project to work with youth in the city's Windermere community. Plans are also underway for the police department to be involved in a special Halloween community project, with officers handing out candy to the city's children.

The chief's second objective is to eradicate crime from Lauderhill. One immediate plan to fight crime is the implementation of a Street Narcotic Unit to rid the city of drug trading and drug-use activities. He also wants to eliminate youth criminal gang activity, and the correlation between drugs and gangs.

Though he's lived in the U.S. most of his life, Smalling has not forgotten his Jamaican roots and is a keen observer of crime fighting activities in that country. He is disappointed that Jones Town has become notorious for criminal activity.

Indicative of his interest in youth and community development, in 2004 while attending the first Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Kingston, he made a proposal to the then P.J. Patterson Administration to establish a School Resource Officers Program with the police providing a secure environment for students. The proposal was adapted and implemented by the Jamaican government under his guidance.

Inherent desire to serve and protect

Growing up in Jones Town, Smalling felt the stirrings of becoming involved in crime prevention and community organization. However, it would take 21 years for him to fulfill his childhood ambition when he joined the Broward Sheriff Office (BSO).

Smalling migrated from Jamaica with his family at age eight and settled in New York, where he attended high school. He later relocated to Florida where he pursued a bachelor's degree at the Florida Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in criminal justice administration at Lynn University in Boca Raton. After college Smalling joined the U.S. Marine Corp. While serving he made up his mind to join law enforcement and became a Broward sheriff in 1991.

During his 19 and a half years tenure with BSO, Smalling served as a school resource officer, a narcotics detective, K-9 Unit Commander, and for the past 11 years Lauderdale Lakes' police chief. He succeeds Lauderhill's Police Chief Kenneth Pachnek.

Chief Smalling's vast leadership roles, including his Marine Corps success as an intelligence officer, will surely be an asset to the Lauderhill Police Department. He is very familiar with the city, having headed the police force of Lauderhill's neighboring community for the past decade.

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(From left) Winsome Wilkins of United Way, Elsa Sommerville (partially hidden), chief public health inspector; Luretta Rankine, community health aid, and Vinnel Menzies of Clarks Town PC Bank look on as Usain Bolt (right) unveils the plague at the official reopening of the Sherwood Content Health Centre last Saturday.

SHERWOOD CONTENT, Trelawny — A health centre in this rustic community is now operational after undergoing a major renovation costing nearly $4 million, undertaken by Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man. Bolt, the most famous native of the community, used all the proceeds from his 9.58 party held in St Ann last year to help pay for the repairs of the clinic. It has been closed since May as a result of its dilapidated state. The triple Olympic and World gold medallist partnered with the Trelawny Health Department, the People Co-operative Bank, Sagicor, Digicel, Capital Credit Security, United Way and Sherwin-Williams.

The sprinting sensation, who holds world records over 100 and 200 metres, attended the reopening of the facility last Saturday and expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to give back to his community.

"To give back to the community is always an honour... I remember back in the days I was a troublemaker so I got a lot of cuts — and some pretty bad ones. I remembered Miss Pansy, she used to work here and live across the road, she used to dress most of my cuts," Bolt remarked.

"It was an honour for me to collaborate with the other sponsors to repair the (health centre). It is my way of showing my community that I still care, still love them and I will continue to do as much as possible. So I will continue working hard trying to big up Sherwood (Content) as much as possible," he added.

The health facility was the final of four stops Bolt made in the parish last Saturday. The first was at Florence Hall, where he endorsed the Gore Homes, a housing development just across from the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium and was formally presented with one of the two-bedroom units.

The next stop for Bolt and his team was Martha Brae at the William Knibb Memorial High, his alma mater. Chairman of Gore Homes, Phillip Gore — who accompanied Bolt on the tour — pledged to cover two-thirds of the $1.5 million for upgrading the school canteen.

The penultimate stop was at the Piedmont Basic School, the first school the track star attended. The school, which was without electricity, was recently wired at the expense of Bolt.

Bolt pledged to replace all the computers stolen in June from the $2-million resource room donated by Digicel Foundation to the adjacent Waldensia Primary School.

According to Bolt's manager Norman Peart, come next month, all the athlete's projects will be handled by the Bolt Foundation which is scheduled to come on stream by then.

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Harlem New York will never be the same after being exposed to the passion and energy that Marva Allen brings to the conference table. Single-handedly her activism has brought unity and structure to a floundering community. She has taken on a role that has been uniquely American and designed for politicians, but like most West Indians with a vision, she refuses to accept mediocrity and living beneath the threshold of success. At the time of her birth in Sav-la-mar Jamaica West Indies, no one knew that this innocent little girl would grow up to impact the lives of an entire community thousands of miles away in America. Marva Allen left her beloved birth place in rural Jamaica at the age of 9 years, and attended boarding school at Alpha Academy in Kingston. At the age of 16 years, she graduated high school and migrated to England. She achieved her first degree while in England and became a nurse. After 6 years there, she moved to the United States of America., and attended medical school at the University of Michigan. In her sophomore year she got married, left the medical school, and completed her master’s degree in Business. For the next twenty-three years, she successfully owned and operated her own computer company. Then she retired and moved to New York to become an author. In 2003 she walked into the bookstore that she now owns, and that was the first time that she had ever been in an all black community; Harlem. That was when she discovered that she really did not know the history of her people; and that the people around her did not know who they really were.In 2004 she became the owner of the bookstore, and there she began a journey to receive as she describes it, ‘an education that her degrees did not provide’. The book store features a café that accentuates the heartwarming ambiance that permeates throughout. The store carries an impressive collection of books written by authors in the black community; also highlighting the works of many West Indian writers. Every age group is facilitated at Hueman Bookstore and Café, which is home to several writing and reading clubs. Along with its book signings, readings, community discussions and other activities, Hueman Bookstore and Café has become a pillar in the Harlem community. Marva Allen champions the idea of self-sufficiency, and has devoted every waking moment to motivate her people to embrace a paradigm shift, and rise higher to achieve their goals. “For too long”, she says “Black is seen as a limitation of our culture; it prevents people from dreaming big”. “The hardest thing for me is to help people understand their total value”. She says. Mrs. Allen believes that a vehicle must be created to provide opportunities for people to be self-sufficient; and she has created such a vehicle, by establishing the ‘Power of One Program’. Along with 35 Harlem businesses, the Power of One program was launched in 2010. It is the basis for a national campaign to encourage urban communities to spend, save, invest, and donate in their own communities. The Power of One is a for profit social entrepreneurship company designed to support and reinvigorate the Harlem community by re-funneling funds back into the village of Harlem. People who live, work, and visit Harlem can enjoy discounts and benefits at participating Power of One businesses by purchasing the Power of One Affinity card for $1.00. The profits from the sale of the Power of One Affinity cards are then re-invested into those Harlem businesses and become a dynamic means of sustaining and providing economic growth in the Harlem community. The grassroots movement hails the Power of One as a model that can be used in any urban market to transform communities one dollar at a time. The goal is to sell $1 million (plus) $1.00 Affinity cards and then reinvest that money back into the Harlem community.

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MIAMI - On Friday (Aug. 6), at dusk, the Miami Tower, formerly the Bank of America tower, at International Place in downtown in Miami, will illuminate in the colours of the Jamaican flag – black, green and gold, in celebration of Jamaica’s 48th anniversary of Independence and Emancipation. The Miami landmark will remain lit throughout the weekend into Monday morning (August 9), as a tribute to the positive impact of the Jamaican community in South Florida. Built in 1987, the 47-floor landmark tower is usually lit for special events in Miami. For the fourth consecutive year, the Jamaican community has been honoured with the significant gesture. Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths said that the ceremonial lighting is “a wonderful public gesture by corporate America, and specifically Bank of America.” She also expressed how much Jamaicans look forward to the annual event to see the Jamaican colours light up the skyline in Miami. The lighting of the landmark Tower serve as a powerful symbol of the positive impact made by the presence of the Jamaican community, not only in Miami, but throughout South Florida. More than 500,000 Jamaicans reside in Florida State with the largest concentration in the South Florida tri-county area – Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Marlon Hill, the Jamaican Diaspora Board Member for the Southern USA, also lauded the event indicating that the significant gesture in downtown Miami is a reminder and symbol of hope for the people of Jamaica. “Our community is continuing to make its mark at varied levels across South Florida,” he told JIS News.

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CDB helps Belize poor

BELMOPAN, Belize, Monday July 26, 2010 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is supporting the Government of Belize in its effort to raise the standard of living of the poor and vulnerable in that country. CDB’s Board of Directors has approved a loan equivalent to US$15 million to the Belize Social Investment Fund to invest in social and economic infrastructure, social services and organisational strengthening sub-projects. Approximately 100,000 persons living in 90 poor communities will benefit from project. The project is an integral component of the Government’s National Poverty Elimination Strategy and Action Plan. “It is expected to lower deficits in water and sanitation infrastructure, improve access to health and education services and reduce social vulnerability. Community involvement will be an important component throughout the sub-project cycle, and the project will be demand-driven,” a CDB statement said. Since its inception 14 years ago, the Belize Social Investment Fund has played a key role as the Government’s main implementing agency in the provision of basic infrastructure and social services in poor and vulnerable communities. In 2002, the Fund was given the mandate to manage the CDB-funded Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme in Belize, which is a similar poverty-reduction initiative with a community-driven approach.

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Barbados plans major national park

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday June 4, 2010 – The Barbados government has announced plans for the establishment of a National Park, stretching from the north to the east of the island, as a priority. It would run from Archer's Bay in St Lucy to the fishing community of Consett Bay, St John. Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe, says the National Park would seek to ensure that development activities in the environmentally sensitive Scotland District utilised sustainable land management approaches, while ensuring that residents enjoyed a high quality of life. "Accordingly, communities will be encouraged to boost their livelihoods in a way that is not detrimental to the local ecology, through the employment of a number of policy measures," he maintained. Minister Lowe said that government's Soil Conservation Unit had been operating in the Scotland District for over 50 years employing engineering techniques to ensure soil integrity and stability in the area and their work, coupled with the work of the Natural Heritage Department, would ensure that greater focus is placed on the implementation of the National Park system. The proposed National Park, as well as scope for growth and development of fishing communities, was among opportunities, policies, and issues discussed at an informal roundtable on ‘Sustainable Fishing in the Changing Climate’ at the inaugural Sustainable Fishing Educational expo this week.

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Japanese school girls on day trip to local market: GBurkeImages Photo

Today's world is smaller than ever – far more connected than anyone could have imagined it would be when we were kids. That is why one of the best things you can do to prepare your kids for the future is to raise them as citizens of the world.
You don't have to travel the globe to give your children a broad perspective of other cultures and world affairs. There are so many things that you can do right at home to encourage their curiosity about, and understanding of, the world.

The first step is to be curious about the world yourself; your kids will pick up on it. Here are some other ways that you can start to bring various cultures into the lives of your children.

* Invite the world into your home by hosting an exchange student.

There are few things that can broaden a child's world view like getting to know someone from another country. Hosting a high school international exchange student goes beyond a brief meeting and forges a lifelong bond between your children and students from abroad. The opportunities for interaction are almost endless, and it's a chance to not only bring the world into your home, but to share the best of America with someone from another country.

Laurie Scott of Nevada has hosted a number of exchange students. "What these kids share with us is enormous," she says. "We have learned as much from them as they have learned from us ... this is more than just a 'neat' program; it really does positively impact global attitudes and increases understanding among families, schools and communities." Families that want to host a student can contact EF Foundation for Foreign Study, which brings more students to the United States than any other exchange program, at

* Explore other cultures right in your own backyard.

In America's melting pot, there are almost endless options for getting a taste of other cultures. Take a trip to a museum where you can find out about other countries and cultures. Art museums are often a great way to learn about cultures from around the globe, through artworks and crafts that have specific uses and meanings.

* Sample cuisine from other countries.

Take the family out for a meal at a restaurant that serves food from different countries or consider preparing world cuisine recipes together at home. Visit ethnic food blogs written by cooks around the globe, or search recipe databases, to find something that you can make in your own kitchen. Whether it's Indian, Mexican, Japanese or German, you can learn a lot about a country from its food.

* Learn another language as a family.

There are a lot of cultural subtleties hidden in foreign languages, and learning to speak one (or more) is a great way to connect with people from around the world. Consider learning a language as a family through a community education course or a local cultural organization – you can even download language instruction podcasts or mp3s from iTunes and other places on the Web.

* Make the most of media.

There are endless opportunities to learn about the world, right at your fingertips. Using the media to gain perspective about the world can take many forms -- from reading a blog written by someone living in another country to signing up at an e-mail pen pal exchange site.

Look for movies that are set in other countries and can provide insight about what has happened or is currently happening there. Search your TV listings for travel programs or history shows that are valuable learning tools, then watch and discuss them as a family. And of course, the simple, transporting experience of reading books about far-off places will always be a great way to learn more about the world.

Learning about the cultures and people of the world really does begin at home. Whether you talk to your kids about current world events or pique their interest through photos of places you've traveled to, by helping them develop a broad worldview, you're giving them a world of possibilities. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Miami – After three months of fundraising efforts in response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti this past January, Miami Dade College (MDC) officials recently presented a check for nearly $42,000 to World Vision’s Operation Hope for Haiti (OHH). The funds were raised through combined efforts of the College’s students, faculty and staff, that began immediately following the Jan. 12 disaster. The college’s efforts inspired other institutions to join the cause including Snead State Community College in Alabama that also contributed to this total. “Miami Dade College was the first institution to step in after the earthquake to work with us,” said Julie Grimes, co-chair, World Vision’s OHH. “The tragedy in Haiti continues even after the cameras are turned off.” OHH is a South Florida-led initiative that has focused all its efforts towards relief and recovery for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. World Vision has a long history of working in Haiti and is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world, with more than 800 staff serving 20 communities throughout the country. The College selected OHH as the recipient of its Haiti Relief Campaign because OHH, in partnership with World Vision, is focused on uniting the community of South Florida to maintain a sustained response to relief and recovery efforts. “Operation Hope for Haiti emphasizes that South Florida residents must be the voice of the voiceless and help our neighbors receive the long-term support they will need to build a new life,” said MDC President, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “These funds represent the generosity of our students and employees who made the tremendous effort to donate their time and raise money on behalf of Haiti’s citizens. I am proud and grateful that our tight-knit community was able to support our friends in Haiti.”

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