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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jamaican Mommies launches ExtraHandsJA.com- FREE Listing Website Connecting Jamaican Service Providers and Customers


Have you ever had challenges locating a local carpenter? Electrician? Household worker? IT Technician? plumber? Ever wondered where to find a good makeup artist? Photographer or even a band? Do you offer these and other services and need a FREE online platform to advertise your services? Thanks to Jamaican Mommies and www.EXTRAHANDSJA.com this challenge will soon be non existent for service providers and customers in varied parishes across the island. 

With constant requests to the Jamaican Mommies network for contact information for household helpers, babysitters, plumbers, mechanics, tutors, school bus drivers and the like, the EXTRAHANDSJA concept was born.

Admittedly, when preparatory work began in July 2014, the initial focus was on parent support services but after much market research it was decided that a wider service provider to consumer market existed, hence the aim to connect Service Providers to Customers.

WHY EXTRAHANDSJA

Screen shot of ExtraHandsJA's website www.extrahandsJA.com


At ExtrahandsJA, we believe that at some point or the other we all require an extra Hand hence our tagline "Because YOU deserve an Extra Hand".  Service providers require an Extra Hand to connect with prospective customers and customers who need an Extra Hand within their home or businesses require a singular location to search for, review and connect with such service providers.  At ExtraHandsJA we therefore  bring it all together- connecting the service providers to customers by allowing service providers to LIST THEIR SERVICES FOR FREE!!


HOW DOES IT WORK?

Since the site was published on June 25, 2015 the primary aim has been site population.  As such primary efforts have been around encouraging service providers to LIST THEIR SERVICES FOR FREE!!. This is a pretty easy process which sees members of the public completing our online form and hitting the submit button. 

As the site has two fold functionalities, the secondary aim is to encourage members of the public to interact with the site, search for and subsequently make contact with and employ the services of providers listed on EXTRAHANDSJA.com. 

Once a sizable service provider listing has been amassed, the growing database will be made public for customers to search and make contact with the respective service providers. In the interim, members of the public are encouraged to SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES and be among the first to know when new listings are added to EXTRAHANDSJA.com. 

BENEFITS OF LISTING WITH EXTRAHANDSJA



In addition to FREE listings, Jamaican Service providers are presented with the opportunity to;
  • Improve their Sales Prospects
  • Increase their online Presence with a professional service provider profile
  • Connect with Prospective customers and
  • Receive customer reviews of their services thereby building credibility for their offerings. 
Customers benefit too as they will soon discover the convenience of having a comprehensive list of service providers at their fingertips. 


CATEGORIES OF SERVICES THAT CAN BE LISTED



EXTRAHANDSJA lists professional and Work-in-progress services.  We understand that many persons are constantly discovering new talents and while they may still be honing their craft, we encourage persons who are still working to perfect same to still LIST THEIR SERVICES FOR FREE!!. So did you discover you have a knack for creative hair dos? nails service?  Are you great at baking products? proofreading documents? Reviewing resumes? writing? Now may be a great time to assess your service offerings and list them today.  As a broad guide, EXTRAHANDSJA lists services for:
  • household workers (helpers, gardeners, caretakers)
  • cleaning services
  • courier services
  • personal shoppers (supermarket, pharmacy etc)
  • fashion and beauty services
  • healthcare professionals
  • food and beverage services
  • entertainment services (MCs, DJs, bands, venues etc)
  • design & decor services
  • transportation services (including drivers)
  • tailors & seamstress services
  • landscaping & garden services
  • computer & electronic repairs
  • photography & videography
  • child care/special needs
  • tutoring
  • skilled workers (plumbers, carpenters, painters, masons, shoemakers, electricians, mechanics, etc) 
  • Personal Services (Personal Training, direct consultations)
AND SO MUCH MORE......

EXTRAHANDSJA TO DATE

To date, some pretty interesting listings have been streaming in and several persons have also been subscribing to the site.  Thanks to on the ground marketing at the recent Denbigh Agriculture show, EXTRAHANDSJA was also able to expand the island wide pool of listings being submitted. 

As we inch closer to our site population goals, we encourage members of the public to continue to share the good news with other persons who would love to list for FREE, List their own and look out for EXTRAHANDSJA's additional publicity efforts. 

To LIST YOUR SERVICES FREE Complete the form on our site>> http://www.extrahandsjamaica.com/list-your-services.html

TO SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES, Simply provide your basic information>> http://www.extrahandsjamaica.com/search-database.html

So what are you waiting for?!! Do it! Do it! Do it NOW!! Pop on by to WWW.EXTRAHANDSJA.COM

Questions? Comments? drop us a line below, email us at extrahandsja@gmail.com or drop us a line via the contact box on EXTRAHANDSJA.COM


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jamaica Emancipation to Independence- Calender of Events


As a child, I vaguely remember Emancipation and Independence celebrations, yet I do recall my parents making a big enough deal about same.  My mother would reference Mello go round (I believe it was still called that then) and over the period my father would make the yearly trek to the Denbigh Agriculture Show in Clarendon.

As an adult, I have visited quite a few of the celebrations with my family in tow and it was indeed a spectacular showing. A lot must be said for the keen attention to details over the August 1-6 period.   Well done JCDC.

This year as Jamaica celebrates 53 years of Independence under the theme "Jamaica 53.. Proud and Free" the nation's cultural agency Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)  has an extensive list of events to celebrate Jamaica's 53 years as a Free Nation.  I implore you to check it out as the 2015 activities feature a wide variety of options for all members of the family!! and best of all Jamaican Mommies will be giving away tickets to the many Independence and Emancipation events this year!!!. 

We have also highlighted Pickney Pendence which is a programme specifically prepared and produced for children. Its aim is to create an atmosphere for children to learn about and be better able to appreciate the concept, significance and meaning of Emancipation and Independence in a fun way. Jamaican Mommies views this inclusion favourably :)

There is also Family Day on August 2 and is a day in which families will be encouraged to get together and share with each other by indulging in various activities including visits to historical places and other sites of interests.


WHY CELEBRATE EMANCIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE?

Recently too, Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna shared why we should celebrate independence so have a look





CALENDAR OF NATIONAL EVENTS 2015



Emancipation to Independence
DATE

EVENT
VENUE
DESCRIPTION

Sunday July 26
10:00 am


National Thanksgiving Service
St. Jago De La Vega Cathedral,  Spanish Town
Service to celebrate the country’s Emancipation & Independence.
7 DAYS OF CELEBRATIONS

DAY 1

8:00 pm

Friday July 31


10:00 pm

Emancipation Jubilee

Seville Heritage Park,
St. Ann’s Bay
This is an annual event that is staged by the National Heritage, at the historic Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann’s Bay. It features displays and performances by the various traditional folk groups as well as popular artistes.



Emancipation Vigil

All Parishes Island-wide
The JCDC working in collaboration with the respective Ministers’ Fraternity in each parish, will stage a parish vigil in each parish capital. The programme features performances primarily from traditional folk groups followed by a religious services which culminates in the symbolic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at midnight by the Custos of the parish.

DAY 2

All Day

Saturday August 1

6:00-10:00am  




12:30 – 1:30 pm





3:00-4:30 pm





8:00 pm



My Jamaica Day

Independence Village - RWEC
Jamaica Day celebrates Jamaica’s bountiful food, and our creative and nutritious meals, beverages, treats, and health offerings.
              

Market Place
Hope Road
(Kings House Gate to Ardene Rd)
Replicating the popular ‘Sat’day’ shopping experience, Hope Road will be transformed into a vibrant market place, showcasing the rich offerings of Jamaica’s farmers.  ‘Push cart man-dem’ will be available to carry bountiful bags to shoppers’ cars parked at King’s House.

Lunch Hour Concert
Independence Village - RWEC
Lunch hour concert features award winning performers from the Festival of the Arts and other notable performers and cultural groups.

The Chat Room
Independence Village - RWEC
A 90 minutes Panel Discussion/Symposium on relevant and topical issues   that is geared towards stimulating the thoughts of  the young and old generations, as we reflect on particular areas of our culture. Topics will be relevant to the major event of the day which will be accentuated by the use of social media.

Coronation of Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2015
Independence Village - RWEC
The thirteen Parish Festival Queens will vie for the coveted title of Miss Jamaica Festival Queen.

DAY 3
All Day


Sunday August 2

1:30 – 5:00 pm


12:30 – 1:30 pm


3:00-4:30 pm

7:00 pm



Family Day

Island-wide
This is a day in which families will be encouraged to get together and share with each other by indulging in various activities including visits to historical places and other sites of interests.

Pickney-Pendence

Independence Village - RWEC
This is a programme specifically prepared and produced for children. Its aim is to create an atmosphere for children to learn about and be better able to appreciate the concept, significance and meaning of Emancipation and Independence in a fun way

Lunch Hour Concert
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

The Chat Room
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

Jamaica Gospel Song Showcase and Finals
Independence Village - RWEC
The culmination of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition with participants drawn from across the island. The winner will be determined.
DAY 4
12:30 – 1:30 pm


Monday August 3












3:00-4:30 pm



6:00 pm




8:00 pm

Lunch Hour Concert
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.


‘‘Aunty Roachie Festival’


The Literary Festival






Independence Village - RWEC
Aunty Roachie Festival will serve to showcase the creative talent of our Literary and Film Communities. 
  • The Literary Festival will recognize the works and contributions of Jamaican writers to both the national and global development through readings and discussions.  The open mic segment will afford little known talent to showcase their skills including Poetry Slam competitions and pieces created specifically based on the theme for the Jamaica Festival Celebrations. 

The Chat Room
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

Fashion Greets Music
Independence Village - RWEC
“Fashion Greets Music” will be an afternoon into night entertainment that will display and bring together fashions of young & emerging as well as established designers mingled with Music from Ska to Dancehall.


Film Festival
Independence Village - RWEC
The Film aspect is a movement to exhibit and expand the art form of short film making by showcasing the most captivating and innovative short content. 
Day 5
12:00 noon

12:30 – 1:30 pm

3:00-4:30 PM
8:00 pm

Tuesday August 4


Village Activities
Independence Village - RWEC
Regular activities commence  in the village from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm.

Lunch Hour Concert
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

The Chat Room
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.


Mello–Go-Roun
Independence Village - RWEC
The premier festival family show featuring the best of the best in the Performing Arts presented in thematic and theatrical production to the delight of the audience.
Day 6
12:00 noon

12:30 – 1:30 pm

3:00-4:30 PM
Wednesday August 5
8:00 pm

Village Activities
Independence Village - RWEC
Regular activities continue in the village from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm.

Lunch Hour Concert
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

The Chat Room
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.

World Reggae Dance Championship
Independence Village - RWEC
Grand finals of the World Reggae Dance Championship.
9:00 am

12:00 noon

1:30 – 5:00 pm


6:00 pm
Day 7
Thursday, August 6
6:00 pm

Independence Day Parade
Lawns of King’s House
The annual Independence Day parade features a military display and the presentation of Independence Messages by the national leaders.


Village Activities
Independence Village - RWEC
Regular activities continue in the village from 12:00 noon.

Pickney-Pendence
Independence Village - RWEC
As previously outlined.


Grand Gala
National Stadium



Grand Gala
Viewing Party
Independence Village - RWEC
The Grand Gala will be beamed live on big screens to the Independence Village followed by an after party with recorded music.



TICKET OUTLETS


Tickets for the August 1-5 festival events are available at the Indedpendence Village at Ranny WIlliams Entertainment Centre; select Sangster’s Bookstores (Mall Plaza, Sovereign, King Street and Portmore) and the Bill Express locations as well as online at www.jcdcjamaica.com


Passes to Grand Gala at the National Stadium on Independence Day, while FREE, can be obtained at Juici Beef, Burger King and Tastee locations in Cross Roads, Half-Way Tree, Downtown, and Portmore.


WIN TICKETS TO THE FESTIVITIES FROM JAMAICANMOMMIES

Are you connected with Jamaican Mommies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Now is a great time to do so as we will be giving away tickets to several of the events over the Emancipation and Independence period. 

P.S.  Have you checked out our new Jamaica Mommies affiliate yet?! Pop on by www.extrahandsja.com. It's all about connecting Service Providers and Customers!! So List your services for FREE or subscribe for listing updates!!

Cheers,

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