Upward Movement for Our Youth

Entrepreneurship and youth employment are key factors used to drive the economy of any country. It is true that the youth are the foundation of our future. In providing better opportunities and a solid foundation for them, the government is able to secure a better future for men and women who are able to make informed decisions and create more innovative opportunities to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Early exposure to the less traditional sectors such as culture, technology, and sports can help to stimulate further growth. Jamaica has a lot to offer in the sports industry; with an already unyielding track record in the in athletics and great potential lying in other areas such as tennis, cricket and football. There has also been worldwide interest expressed into the history behind our people and what culminates to form the “true Jamaican experience”. In the areas of technology, [an emerging sector for the country] animation and education, the advancements which we have made are minor compared to the scope of growth which is left to be achieved with the right collaboration and support with the government.

In the area of sports, Jamaica has been able to maintain its popularity in the field of athletics from as early as the early 20th century . This popularity has shifted the attention from other important sports such as cricket, tennis, and basketball. In fact sports encompasses a lot more than athletics but as a result of the popularity and support from the international community, athletics has been the main focus in the primary school to university level. The government has an important role to play in providing a comprehensive experience to our youth by exposing and educating our youth on the different types of sports and the industry as whole. This interest will lead to greater desire in the industry and will encourage greater support from all members of the community. Also, by providing mentorship and internship opportunities youth will have the opportunity to explore the lucrativeness of a career in each specific field. With the creation of more comprehensive programs aimed at educating and training youth it will lead to the creation of jobs and making each member of youth more marketable to provide training not only locally but also on an international platform. The sustenance of the program will depend on the funding and training received from the different trade agreements that the government would need to negotiate between different countries that have developed strong programs in areas where we are most weak. The government could provide an incentive for these countries, offering assistance in areas where we have most strength.’ Unity is strength ‘and the unification of government bodies, CARICOM states and funding agencies will assist in a creating a more comprehensive sports industry aimed at stimulating youth employment and entrepreneurship.

A culture is the way of life of a people. As a society evolves the culture changes and the need for culture preservation becomes increasingly more important. Someone aged seventeen in 2014 is not able to know what it is like to ride a donkey, walk to school barefoot or even use a kerosene lamp as the main source of light. Not only teenagers from today’s society but individuals from other countries have also become more interested in cultures from other countries and the experience within each historical period. The education of culture and the creation of educational campaigns aimed at culture preservation will encourage youth to embrace their history with passion. That passion can be channeled to create entrepreneurship pursuits. One key example is the Outameni Experience in Trewlany which was aimed creating a Jamaican cultural experience to take each individual journeying through time. This facility was able to create jobs for many youth, boost our tourism product, market our cultural experience and ultimately boost our economy. As are result of the lucrativeness of this business, it was sold to the government for Jamaican 180 million dollars. Closer collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation will encourage not only youth but all members of the society to become stakeholder in building our culture. Working together to create new products and learning how to incorporate different aspects of our culture like dancing, storytelling, singing into viable business ventures for young people. This collaboration will further lead to new local and export markets being created, more jobs for our youth, and moving economic development forward.

Jamaica’s technology sector has been an emerging sector and in the past couple of years we have had advancement in the creation of global educational and animation products. Specifically, with the creation of Edu-focal, a social learning platform to facilitate the study of CXC and GSAT examinations. Also, graphic design companies such as Reel Rock have had their animation work featured on popular Disney and Nickelodeon cartoons. Through partnership efforts with companies such as these and the government can give young boys and girls should have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the advancements in the sectors and how they can get involved and create new trends in the field. Internship and training opportunities should be made available as soon as there is an interest in animation, applications, and software technology products so there can be a greater appreciation for the sector and encourage greater contribution. With a greater appreciation it will stimulate and greater desire to learn from an earlier age and a strengthening the technology industry. This will boost the creativity in the minds of your our youth to create more innovative products and allow us to be marketable on the global platform. Partnership and Internship opportunities with local and international leaders in the industry will help to stimulate our youth to create more companies like Edu-focal and Reel Rock, and further strengthen the Jamaican brand as a stalwart in the technology industry, in the Caribbean and the International region.

The government is responsible for the direction and the control exercised over the citizens of a country. Hence, the government plays a key role in the further development of our youth and the promotion of entrepreneurship. Through partnership with government agencies such as the National Centre for Youth Development, Jamaica Business Development Commission and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission we can stimulate the desire for entrepreneurship and stimulate stakeholders to facilitate youth employment. Through mentorship we can give young men and women the opportunity to experience the viability from the eyes of another, encouraging informed decisions. As a nation we can all be united in securing a better future for all through youth employment and entrepreneurship.

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Culture: Its significance to me.

Ever heard the sayingYou have to know where you come from to understand where you are going” ? Culture more appropriately defined is the way of life of a group of people .  It includes our values, beliefs, customs, languages and traditions. It is reflected in our history, in our heritage and in how we express ideas and creativity. This culture, my Jamaican culture, has been shaped primarily by influence from the European (British, Spanish, and French) and African (Taino inhabitants) customs and tradition. As migration becomes and inevitable factor across the world, we are able to see its influence from the  Indian and Chinese culture, and in most recent times  our neighbour , the ‘Great United Sates of America. We can all agree , culture changes based on our own individual socialization and migration, but what is permanent , is the our origin, our starting point. Understanding this is the foundation for understanding society and socialization. Culture is the root of all our personal idenitiy, establishing our moral, value, tradition, culture . In undestanding `our past it allows us to understand effectively the process of communication and set the benchmark for our values, attidues and contributions .

Jamaican culture has been has been dominated by the British model, for the most part. Where our inhabitants were forced to find their own identity. Their expressions came in the form of music , religion, language  and dance. The desire to find a commonality between who they were led to the culmination of our culture. The oppression felt through slavery led to rebellion from what was being instilled , though inevitably accents of European culture where still adopted, social graces, mannerisms , and the other qualities which they(our ancestors) admired  . The importance of this  served as a reminder of where I came . A reminder that I too am worthy of rising out of oppression, a reminder that as people we are all connected, all one, with a common objective. When I listen to stories of the Nanny of the Maroon, Paul Bogle rebellion, I feel connected , I feel inspired in my pursuit of life. I often wonder if we didn’t rebel; if we had chosen to be complacent, accept oppression, What type of nation would we be? Would we have had as many leaders making global impact? This identify fosters growth, confidence, and a deeper understanding of who we are as social beings.

Communication ideally is a two way process of reaching a mutual understanding in which messages are encoded and decoded. The communication process with an eighty year old Jamaican woman living in rural Jamaica  will be different than communication with a 20 year old living in the city of Kingston. Their individual morals, attitudes and values will differ. Understanding the roots of this communication, the intention behind every sentence is key.  With each  expression  , we are able to identify pigments of our culture, culture of the past,  the new and emerging culture. The co-relation is essential. “If you stand for you nothing , you will fall for anything. “ We’ve established that culture is always changing, it does not remain constant. Hence, knowing what to accept or reject comes deeply from how we’ve been socialized within our immediate environments . What we hold to be true is set by our culture. Just imagine if there wasn’t a cultural development commission aimed at promotion and education of culture, Jamaican culture in itself would be next to non exist. The core of who we are as a people, out of many one people, out of oppression would be replaced with new and adopted forms of attitudes , morals and behaviour. Our culture sets a benchmark of understanding , allowing us to choose what to embrace, and what to adopt and how to contribute further within society. When we enter the global sphere , mass amounts of  messages are communicated through media and technology. This can serve as a threat to our culture s much as it can serve as a means of enhancement. When you are able to establish firmly what is true to you, you’ll stand up for what you believe in an empowering way . Just as Bob Marley did for Racial oppression and Miss Lou did for our Jamaican ‘national language’ As a nation we are fighters, believers and conquerors and culture serves as a indication of that as the past will always continue to influence our future.

The Jamaican flag beautifully depicts the spirit of our people shaped by our culture.

stock-footage-jamaican-flag-with-real-structure-of-a-fabric

 “Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth”:

Black represents the strength and creativity of the people which has allowed them to overcome the odds.

Yellow symbolises the golden sunshine.

Green represents our lush vegetation and agricultural resources.

One Love,

Kimberly<3

Jamaica: The land of my birth!

When I hear her name my heart instantly skips a beat. My heart  skips a beat because it is the sweetest name I’ve ever heard, it has a very common tune that only my heart  understands. I cry when she cries and rejoice when she does. The land of wood and water they say, but I like to think there is more beneath the surface. Jamaica is simply an island  with rich  history, love , strong culture and a uniqueness making this beautiful island the queen of many hearts. Her motto is “ Out of Many One people” ; her children come from many different ancestries making Jamaicans one of the most diverse people in the world.  The the last four letters in  “ Jamaican” spells I- C-A-N , I guess this explains why we are such confident beings.  The world would be a better place if we all chose to adopt the principle of believing we can achieve anything. She is the lover of all , she loves unconditionally and forgives easily. She breeds only leaders with the potential for greatness. She is the greatest mother, with history as rich as the coffee she produces, nature sites as  beautiful as the sound of her name, uniqueness such that her children stand out wherever they may go. Her love is as wide as the ocean but you’ll probably swim in the tears she cries.  We all have a responsibility as Jamaicans to protect her , love her and keep the rhythm of her soul alive. As our emancipation anniversary draw nears my mind never fails to remind me why I am proud to be a Jamaican .

Jamaican Coat of Arms

You see, Jamaica has  some of the best unacclaimed prestige sites in the world. Once home to several wealthy, famous celebrities such as Ian Fleming, Noel Coward and Errol Flynn.  Our beautiful sites have been featured in several movies , with so much history behind them  that we often seem to forget. Hills and mountains that tell the tales of  our national heroes that have trod and fought endlessly for the freedom of our beautiful land; freedom for me and you. Many plantations which are now historic sites tell the stories of slavery , love and freedom.  Dated  from as late as the 18th century “Lover Leap” in Jamaica tells the story of , Mizzy and Tunkey(two slave lovers) who leaped from the  a cliff to avoid being separated by their slave masters.

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Lovers Leap located in SouthField, St.Elizabeth Jamaica

Also, historic church building represent great revivals which took place in the country. Strong evangelism and African rituals were used to spread the message of Christianity throughout the island.Our creole language( Patois) is much more than “ broken English’ comprised of African and English dialects.   It is a language of rebellion influenced by slave codes and modern day religions such as Rastafarianism. Slaves used this language to communicate on the plantations when slave masters strongly enforced  the use of standard English  in attempt to strip our ancestors of their cultural identity. They rebelled,and  hence Patois was formed. This speaks to the strong individuality of our Jamaicans. The Rastafarian religion prides itself on staying true to roots and the use patois language is an acknowledgement of the struggles and oppression which our ancestors suffered through.Image

Example of the Patois language

Being Jamaican is a way of life; you’ll have to experience it to know what it truly means. One is instilled with rich traditions and morals taking you through all walks  of life. From respecting your elders to helping to lead your older siblings from an early age. It is a  popular tradition to have beef soup on Saturdays  and attend church on Sundays, and  dinner is usually rice and peas and chicken . Food brings people together in Jamaica and my household was popular for feeding several members of my community and I am thankful for my grandmother for showing me this way of life. We learn from early that living for ourselves is vain and we must live for others to truly live; we are all one people, one family living in one country.  I would never forget the stories of “Anancy the spider” and how much fun we would have sharing these stories before bedtime or even the time we had no electricity and my “granny”would resort to a cast iron heated by coal to iron my clothes because she would never allow me to leave the house as If I slept underneath a  coconut tree .  “You must always ‘mawning’ to everyone and remember smile chile” she’d always say to me. I embrace my Jamaican heritage because it highlights that no matter how advanced our world becomes I will always be able to resort to the fundamentals of my culture built on rich morals and traditions .

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Vintage Cast Iron.

As I write my heart can’t help but be filled. As I’ve gotten older, my love for my country has only deepened . I realize I represent a unique identity of people. I represent a nation of leaders and believers .Jamaicans all have a greater vision for themselves , not only for themselves but anyone they meet . I think  somehow this was instilled by our ancestors, they had to vision to be freed from oppression, we have had many great leaders in our history. Particularly, Marcus Garvey who was able to create massive movements aiming at creating economic independence among our people .

Marcus Garvey

Presently, this spirit still  lives in every Jamaican ; the spirit of unity , strength, and determination and  it is evident in our athletes and every true Jamaican you may meet. We speak life into those around us and this one of the reasons why Jamaica is a true melting pot .Jamaica has the most beautiful  sunrise and an evening kiss ; it is impossible to not be mesmerized by her beauty.