I wish for Jamaica long life and good health, endless prosperity and an abundance of wealth. I wish everyone could learn to know themselves, work hard, play hard, creating collective wealth. I see each individual's contribution to the whole, humble and progressive, let the good life unfold.
I wish that for the children, we would spend more time harnessing their potential, more creativity, less crime. I know each individual can better play their part; minimising casualties, injuries, no false starts. I wish Jamaica would learn to smile more, compliments and pleasantries extended from the ceiling to the floor.
Wish for prosperity
I wish those who think they have, would realise they could have more, if we all work together, less resentment towards the poor. I wish for Jamaica all the best on its sojourn, achieving its goals, everything crisp and everything modern. I wish out of many we could really become one people, not just a saying but used as our most significant vehicle, taking us places far beyond where we are, because out of many, we are truly 2.7 million stars.
Corporal Dilton Pike is fire prevention officer and instructor, at the St Elizabeth division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
I wish the Jamaica that I grew up in would be more self-sufficient.
Jamaica is still dependent on external sources to feed itself. I am wishing and hoping that Jamaica will someday be able to provide food to offset the food problems that it has. Should there be a world crisis, Jamaica would really get hit hard.
In Jamaica, if it was possible everyone should get involved in backyard gardening, but it's not possible. In the rural areas where we have access to a garden plot, people can. We should eat what we grow but we are not producing enough to feed the people. The CSME which I thought would have made a difference in the Caribbean seems to be holding Jamaica at ransom. We produce peanuts and yet we import peanuts from our Caribbean neighbours and I'm not hearing of much export from Jamaica to our Caribbean neighbours. If we were to produce more we could import less.
Pike added that if Jamaica is to fulfil its potential, technology would need to play a vital role. He also said that more creative ways should be found to utilise the products that can be grown in Jamaica. He said, for example, instead of importing wheat to produce flour, an alternative to that could be the production of cassava flour.
Loris 'Janet' Wilks is a teacher at Port Antonio Primary School in Portland.
I wish more employment opportunities would be created to assist school leavers and other qualified persons, who are still in the unemployment line".
Among other things, Wilks singled out the need to create a training centre at the abandoned factory complex along Long Wall at Bryans Bay, where young persons could be trained in various skills.
"Once that building is rehabilitated by the powers that be, it can be transformed into a learning and practical centre for the youth, where various skills including auto-mechanics, designing, art and craft, tailoring, culinary arts, and electrical installation can be taught by certified persons. This will ultimately result in the selling of finished goods on the local market, and persons will earn as they learn, and afterwards they themselves will become certified."
According to the teacher, enough factory space is at that location to allow for varied skills and trades to be taught to persons who are willing to learn and become certified, but are left idle as a result of being unable to secure a job.
She noted that it would be a major start in reducing the level of unemployment, which has forced some young men to resort to criminal activities.
Wilks also added that such certification could allow persons to enter the national job market, or could allow them to ply their skills internationally.
The abandoned factory at Bryans Bay has been out of operation for the better part of 10 years. The building has been vandalised. However, in recent times, successive members of parliament in east Portland have hinted that one way to generate some level of employment for the parish would be to rehabilitate the structure and have it transformed into a training centre.
Wilks wishes that talk will soon turn into action.