Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Participating in Ja Movement - Providing hope for our youth

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMRocheda Bartley

Have you ever sat and asked yourself, what is your purpose? Well, like Daniel Heaven a young game changer and founder of the Participate in Jamaica Movement (PIJAM), your purpose could very well be to serve your homeland. Initially, he had a passion for empowering youth and uplifting Jamaica, but moulded his likings into a goal-oriented staunch initiative. Now after a year in existence, PIJAM is perhaps where we all should be.

It's guided by a group of students from the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Jamaica and the Shortwood Teachers College. And has its emphasis channelled towards youth, aiding in building their networks and employment opportunities and it also focuses on community building.

"We believe that moulding a tree from a tender age is the best way to control its growth and the same applies to youth. If we plant a seed of hope, positivity, change, or earning wealth in their minds and nurture it enough with persistence, and lead by example, then and only then will we proactively seek to produce hope for our nation," he emphasised.




Given the thunder striking rise in the use of smart technology in a world where cell phones have become some person's best friends and computers their eternal partners, the PIJAM endures to encourage greater human interactions.

"Compared to five years ago, today we are strolling, tweeting, retweeting, liking, and disliking with emoticons. So, we are caring virtually, but not in reality. PIJAM's creed is to get persons to rise up, turn off their devices and really turn on their humanity through voluntary participation," Heaven explained to Flair.

With this shift in mind, the group has executed several mentorship and empowerment sessions with high school and tertiary students, street children. It has also carried out beautification projects and a back to school drive for the Sun Bean Boys Home, merely to get people interacting while making a difference.

The group has several projects lined up for the coming months, including a beautification project at the Kiddy Care Basic School in Kingston, beach and drain cleanings, drives, and mentorship programmes.




Heaven and his team are driven to sway every Jamaican, especially those on home soil to actively participate in the development of the isle. The non-profitable organisation is deeply committed to playing a central role in putting Jamaica on top, "moving Jamaica to higher socio-economic heights through acts of selflessness; commencing from the community level upwards".

"This futuristic mindset shows how we operate as a group to make Jamaica a country, which can no longer be overlooked on a global scale. Our motto is: No Problem, Just Solutions...we must act more than we discuss as we cannot play dumb to matters that will later cause our nation to be left dumb struck," he said.

As the Participate in Jamaica Movement labours to trek with youths and Jamaica on a road to Damascus, Heaven bear a message.

"Be a critical paradigm shifter, fight desperately for what you believe in and when you win, remain calm," he advised.