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CDEMA’s Executive Director, Ronald Jackson bids farewell

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Ronald Jackson, outgoing Executive Director of CDEMA

#Barbados, April 27, 2020 (CDEMA) – Following seven (7) years of unwavering and exemplary service to the region, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Mr. Ronald Jackson bids farewell to the Agency as of Thursday April 30, 2020.

Mr. Ronald Jackson was appointed Executive Director of CDEMA on April 3, 2013 and has since provided outstanding leadership to the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and in the implementation of the Agency’s policies and programmes. Mr. Jackson has also provided sterling leadership of the regional coordination and responses to Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent after the Christmas Trough in 2013, Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica in 2015, Hurricanes Irma and Maria (impacting 9 of CDEMA Participating States) in 2017, Hurricane Dorian in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in 2019 and in the current COVID-19 Pandemic now affecting the region.

Under his stewardship, the Agency gained further recognition and prominence throughout the Caribbean and globally as one of the foremost regional disaster risk management institutions and a preferred partner for a safe and more resilient Caribbean. He has forged relationships and cultivated several strategic partnerships with a broad-based and diverse range of regional and international development partners, donors, governments, private sector entities and non-governmental organisations.

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His commitment and advocacy in promoting and advancing the implementation of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and Framework for the Region, has captivated many audiences across the globe, resulting in a significant increase of resources through donor financing support to the implementation of Disaster Risk Management programmes in Participating States. He led the development of the Caribbean Pathway to Resilience and spearheaded its socialization within the region and among the Americas. Mr. Jackson was also instrumental in the strengthening of cooperative arrangements with the Disaster Management Organization in the Dominican Republic, with the French Overseas Territories and the Dutch Caribbean. CDEMA’s Membership also increased from 18 to 19 under his stewardship.

“This is a bitter sweat moment for me. I am excited at the opportunity to be able to practice in a global capacity but I feel a sense of duty to the Caribbean Community and as such a part of me will miss working in a context that inspires innovation. However, I feel that I am leaving behind a wonderful platform for the continued advancement of the Region’s Integrated Risk Management Agenda and the continued growth of the Agency”, said Jackson.

Mr. Jackson has been extensively involved in disaster management at the national, regional and international level in various capacities. He served as the Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica, a position he held between August 2006 and March 2013. He also currently lectures on Disaster Risk Management in the Tourism and Occupational Health and Safety Masters Programme at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and Mona.

CDEMA is extremely appreciative of Mr. Jackson’s service and the legacy he leaves in building a culture of safety and a disaster resilient region.

CDEMA also takes this opportunity to wish Mr. Jackson the very best in his future endeavours.

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Caribbean News

Jamaica Rum Festival Endorsed

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#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, endorsed this year’s fourth staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St. James, on Saturday (June 25).

Ms. Grange, who officially opened the event, noted that rum, and spirits in general, has deep cultural significance in Jamaica, spanning centuries.

“From the cane fields, where our enslaved ancestors worked, through to today, where we have the best rum in the world… we have a lot to be proud of,” she added.

For his part, Tourism Director, Donovan White, commended the organisers of the festival, which attracted a significant number of patrons, including visitors from overseas.  He said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), was pleased to be a partner in the event that showcased top quality products by local rum purveyors.

Minister Grange, representatives from the Tourism Ministry’s agencies, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, were presented with limited edition Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.

 

Contact; Okoye Henry

Release: JIS

 

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Education Ministry Recommits to Expanding Uniformed Groups in Schools

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#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Youth remains committed to increasing the number of uniformed groups in schools.  This is in keeping with its thrust to fulfill this mission under the Safety and Security in Schools Programme, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, has said.  She further noted that “it is a part of our series of measures to improve discipline among students.”

Mrs. Williams was speaking during the Council of Voluntary Social Services’ (CVSS) uniformed groups church service on Sunday (June 26).  The service was held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, Kingston.

Mrs. Williams remarks came against the background of what she said were “heightened concerns” in recent months over incidents of violence in schools across Jamaica and calls for a more concerted effort to provide civic and character education for students.  She noted that several initiatives within the Ministry to address these concerns were being expanded, among them support for uniformed groups in schools.

“The Ministry has been supporting uniformed youth groups in the development of a Three-Year Strategic Plan and [Memoranda of Understanding] with individual groups which will, at one and the same time, advance the missions of the groups and the mandate of the Ministry to these groups,” Mrs. Williams added.

The Minister pointed out that these cohorts, including Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cub Scouts, Cadets and Pathfinders, “have played an invaluable role in shaping the character and awakening the social conscience of our young people for decades.”

“It has been well-established that students who participate in clubs are more out-going as they are engaged in activities that support socialisation with their peers. These students tend to be more comfortable in group settings where communication and team-work are necessary. This is a valuable asset as it will also benefit these students outside of the school setting,” she stated.

Mrs. Williams said the activities engaged in at meetings also complement classroom learning and emphasise social, emotional, and physical development.

Additionally, she said they provide opportunities for informal learning and life experiences.

“Uniformed youth groups represent a cohort of the nation’s youth that is organised around a set of core values, such as honour, discipline, service, loyalty, commitment, integrity, perseverance, industry and spiritual fortitude,” the Minister emphasised.

She noted that while most are based in schools, units may also be organised at church and community levels.

“Indeed, we know that the church has been a main source through which many new members are recruited. There is a challenge, however, and that is, over the past few years, there has not been as robust an interest in these groups as in previous decades,” Mrs. Williams indicated.

She said it was acknowledged that the society’s youth now have many more interests and distractions, “but we should still try to encourage them to see the value in participating in groups such as these”, while citing an “urgent need” for volunteer adult leaders.

The Minister also noted that older and more traditional groups, such as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, are international in scope and maintain linkages with the worldwide movements.

“Support from these fraternal organisations has, however, diminished over the years, and local organisations must find the resources to sustain operations and pay the required affiliation fees. So once again, it is important that we, in the local community, pitch in to provide the needed support,” she added.

In this regard, the Minister commended members of the uniformed groups and CVSS for ongoing efforts to forge long-term alliances that facilitate mutual support and joint action.

Further, she said, for representing the concerns of the social sector, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, at the regional and international levels.

“We, as a collective, continue to dedicate ourselves to creating a supportive and safe environment for our students to learn and experience as much as possible to become productive members of society,” Mrs. Williams stated.

 

Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

 

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Anguilla Economic Affairs Minister Quits; calling it a conscience move

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By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer

 

#Anquilla, June 27, 2022 – After penning a three-page resignation letter to Premier Ellis Lorenzo Webster, the Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Information Technology and Natural Resources, Kyle Hodge has officially resigned from the Anguilla Progressive Movement (APM).

“I am submitting this letter of resignation because my conscience and commitments to the people of Anguilla no longer permit me to serve as a member of the Anguilla Progressive Movement and minister of government in your administration,” he wrote.

Included in his letter are his reasons for resigning and that entails his concerns on Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is scheduled to come into Force on July 1, the lack of organised leadership, and the lack of party structure.

“I believe that my dissenting vote on the Good and Services Tax (GST) marked the initial fraying of our relationship; since then we have not been on the same page. There is a mutual lack of trust and understanding and most importantly, our goals for the Anguillan people have fully diverged and there is little common ground,” said the resigned minister.

He also shared his concern regarding the approach and tone of the government towards Anguillans.

“Politics in Anguilla must change and it actually started when the people demanded more of use and I am very comfortable with that demand. You deserve nothing less,” said Hodge in a Facebook post. He also thanked the people who have supported him in his decision to resign.

Hodge added that he will continue to serve the people who elected him since he will still be a member of the House of Assembly.

He said, “my resignation today does not mean GST disappears, so let us continue to unite our efforts to either make it more palatable or find other ways to collect the revenue that is needed to run the country. I wish the entire government a healthy and prosperous term in office. I also take this time to commend you for the relief package granted to the people of Anguilla as we deal with hyperinflation in Anguilla.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Commerce, Natural Resources and Information Technology. I wish you the very best politically and otherwise.”

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