Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Moms Say: Stem the Negative Child Abuse trend


Our Moms Say series has been on hold for a bit, but as mothers, we always have things to say and so recently in our Jamaican Mommies Facebook group, we took on a more serious tone and asked

 "With the increased incidences of Child sexual abuse, child abductions and murders, What do you believe can be done to stem this negative trend?"


Our #JamaicanMommies had this to say: 

1. Educate and Inform:
 Educate and inform our kids, tell them we live in a beautiful world but there are bad and good people; and as adults we need to deliberately look out for our neighbors/community kids. Return to the days when it really took a village or community to raise a child.
- C Lewis

2. Talk to our children

Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them.
-D Page

3. Teach
Teach your child key safety principles. For instance: Teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.  If your child is uncomfortable or if someone is touching them, s/he should tell a trusted adult immediately.Let your children know that if someone is touching them or talking to them in ways that make them uncomfortable that it shouldn’t stay a secret. 
- N.Brown

Monday, October 24, 2016

Garvey the Musical and your Invitation to a Special Screening!

Andre Bernard as Marcus Garvey faces off with Jean-Paul Menou as J. Edgar Hoover.
Photos: Corve Dacosta
"Educate Yourself, keep learning
Educate yourself for you
Educate yourself keep reading
Educate yourself be true
Educate yourself keep searching
Educate yourself be free" -Garvey,  The Musical

On Monday,  October 17, my 7 year old accompanied me to a fitting National Heroes Day showcase of Garvey, The Musical: Roots, Reggae, Rock.

Having always been a big proponent of Garvey's teachings around self-sufficiency, economic development and empowerment for the black race,  I thought a musical was just the right thing to introduce my growing daughter to some of these key messages.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Forget the hashtags, Here's how you can LEGITIMATELY #HelpHaitiForReal


Forget the Hashtags! Want to make a REAL impact and ACTUALLY #HelpHaitiForReal?  here's a serious tip, Be a DOER and Not a POSTER! and the first step is to move beyond just posting #PrayForHaiti to one where you actually SUPPORT via some of the many entities in Jamaica that are seeking to get immediate aid into the country.

For context, our fellow Caribbean neighbors in Haiti have been facing the devastating effects of #HurricaneMatthew.  To date, the death toll has soared to a  devastating high in excess of 800 persons and UNICEF asserts that 

An estimated 500,000 children live in the Grande Anse and Grand South departments in southern Haiti, the areas worst hit by Hurricane Matthew. UNICEF further notes that Up to 80 per cent of homes in the south are reportedly damaged and nearly 16,000 people are staying in temporary shelters. Some 175 schools are believed to have sustained heavy damage and at least 150 schools throughout the country are being used to shelter evacuees...

 The video below shows the painful reality.




Now, I know we have long become a "Let us create an hashtag to show how much we care" society, but in time of crises, it bluntly means nothing if you can't put your resources where your hashtag is. So to encourage you to move from being a POSTER to a DOER, the Jamaican Mommies team is compiling a running list of legitimate organizations in Jamaica that are raising cash and kind to support Haiti. This list will be continuously updated and we encourage persons to share organized and legitimate efforts to be added to same.  Some of the organized efforts to date include:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Irish for a Day-St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Jamaica 2016

"Irish Town in Jamaica is linked to the Irish from Ireland?" like duh right? Looking back, it now seems so obvious but for some reason I have never quite made the connection, that is until a member of Jamaica's Irish expatriate community shared details about the St. Patrick's Day celebration in Irish Town, Jamaica. As the event promised a grand parade, Irish dancing and Music, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Irish Food, Fun and the games for the kids and shuttle to the event's location, I was intrigued. I figured why not, my daughter would enjoy the cultural adventure and I can enjoy the road trip and some new food :D.

To prepare myself for this new adventure, I actually went researching to find out more about the Irish-Jamaican link (They don't call it Irish Town for nothing right?) and indeed I was mind blown at the rich cultural history and linkages between two countries that are  thousands of miles away. Off the top of my head, I did recall that Digicel, though an Irish Owned company is headquartered in Jamaica and that Guinness which is rooted in Ireland now owns Red Stripe/D&G. But several articles later, these interesting facts stood out:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jamaican team Launches Globally Respected Early Childhood Parenting Programme

For a long time, Jamaica's outstanding feats have been linked to successes on the track and musical accomplishments. It is therefore super refreshing when my fellow country men and women excel at academics, politics, international competitions, fashionable showcases, culinary delights and more recently start up companies and ICT inventions. With the recent heart swelling Man Booker win by Jamaican Marlon James it prompted me to blog about yet another outstanding Jamaican based grouping that has been receiving international acclaim in the field of Early Childhood Parenting programmes.

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, a University of the West Indies based group (Bonus points for my alumni) made their way to the Inter American Development Bank's (IDB) offices in Washington, D.C to launch an established and highly successful parenting model, aptly called Reach Up: An early childhood parenting programme.  
Some members of the Reach Up Team: Joanne Smith, Kristy Fernandez, Amika Wright Christine Powell, Susan Chang and Susan Walker
But what made this programme so different, so meaningful and successful was the fact that it did not begin today but has been steadily and sometimes even quietly reaping successes over the past 30 years. Beginning as the Jamaica Home Visit Programme of the 1980's to where it stands today helping parents and their children to "Reach Up" and achieve their full potential.

To date, this programme #FromJamaicaToTheWorld has already been implemented in Jamaica, Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Madagascar and Peru and best of all provides a globally scalable, easy to replicate early childhood development solution. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Youth Money Talk Hackathon & the case for Respect in Jamaica



Just yesterday, August 26, 2015, I was a part of an audience of some 500 plus youth leaders at a Forum hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Culture with the main presenter being Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Phillips. The event promised to provide a platform for the involvement of our youth at the decision making table as a critical part of Jamaica’s success and economic growth. I was intrigued as I've long held the view that engaging with and encouraging participatory strategies for our youth can yield meaningful results.  Besides, I have been keen on ways to grow my recently launched FREE service provider listing site www.extrahandsja.com  and felt the forum may provide me with an opportunity to network


A few things out of the way, the event was branded as a #MoneyTalkHackathon and a quarter of the way in, I wondered about the term Hackathon and if the word forum may not have been more appropriate. As always, the trusty twitter network picked up on that too with several persons asking why the event was labelled a hackathon.  Eventually technology startup/tech events entrepreneur Ingrid Riley provided some well needed clarity.




Moving ahead, As a young entrepreneur (Check out my latest project- a FREE service provider listing site www.extrahandsja.com) I also found the Money Talk aspect of the forum not as dense as I had expected, having secured my space to learn more about the economic empowerment activities and engagements for our youth. I was more keen on what efforts would be put in place to better assist young people to not only understand money and its management but to also be educated to the point of having a better appreciation about how their money management actions affect Jamaica at the microeconomic level. This especially as the Ministry's Invitation letter promised "We believe that there needs to be a clear understanding of the current economic climate of the country and path we are on to compete globally...Together, we will explore how the current Economic Reform Programme (ERP) impacts Jamaica’s young people presently and in the future. This engagement will result in a greater understanding of your future economic prospects in Jamaica."

Lovely objective, but not sure if this was achieved...


I had also anticipated that this "Money Talk" hackathon forum would have provided a launching pad for interventions that will make "money talk"a bit more relatable for our young people- break down the jargons, key in young people on the basics of investing, generating income, avenues for helping with starting and sustaining businesses-you know MONEY TALK kind of stuff and this I articulated via several tweets as I missed the opportunity to raise these points directly.





A look at the #MoneyTalkHackathon  and #MoneyTalkJa hashtags going throughout the night revealed that several persons were on the same path with their questioning and the concerns they raised via twitter such as...





At best, the #MoneyTalkHackathon therefore provided a good start for what should become a series of sessions where young people can have open dialogue with their leaders. BUT that brings me to the next point.

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