Diaspora team talks community development in Lucea
Members of the Jamaican Canada Diaspora Foundation travelled to Lucea, Hanover, yesterday, where they conducted a seminar on community development for leaders of community groups and social institutions in the parish. The trip was their contribution to the Diaspora Day of Service.
The event, held at the Watson Taylor Park in Lucea, was a part of the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference. Sessions were facilitated by Drs Kingsley Gilliam and Dudley Morgan, who are directors of health and education, respectively, at the foundation.
It was staged to engage leaders in discussion about spurring economic growth in Hanover, through the development of local community enterprises there.
In his address, Morgan challenged the attendees to undertake four projects in order to jump-start additional economic-development activities in the parish, namely, the establishment of a youth choir, the staging of a 'Lift Up Hanover Conference' on development, the undertaking of fundraising initiatives and suggested the partner system of community banking as a cooperative model for social organising.
"On almost every occasion when I travel in continental Africa, and I am traveling back through Europe to Canada, I never fail to see youth choirs on the flights. The rationale for this is significant as this produces great networking for travelling and studying, and in many cases, these choir groups act as community-development starting points. Please carefully note and observe this goal," he said.
ISSUING A CHALLENGE
"I am challenging you to make fundraising one of your priority goals," he added. "Each time you make J$20,000, I will add 25 per cent of that amount to your fundraising. This means you have two tasks - not just raising the funds, but providing an accountable mechanism, whereby I am contributing 25 per cent to your $20,000 and not to a sinking fund."
President of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, Valarie Steele, told The Gleaner in a subsequent interview that she was happy with the response from the leaders in attendance.
"I call this a family gathering ... because so many times we hear about all the things that are wrong with Jamaica. We, who live outside of Jamaica, know that there are a lot of things that are right with Jamaica, and Jamaica is not the only country in the world with some burdens. And what is right with Jamaica can absolutely supersede the things that are not right with Jamaica. And that's why we came here, just to empower people ... . We are not here to tell you what to do. We are here to reinforce what you are doing, because you are doing things," she said.