A week or so ago I shared the thoughts of eight Jamaican women on their priorities, hopes and plans for Jamaica in 2017. Now it’s the men’s turn! I hope you find the comments interesting, and I think you will find they share similar preoccupations.
Hubert Chin, Administrative Director, PRO Communications Limited: As we begin 2017, my wish for our country is that we will be able to reduce the crime rate and provide opportunities for the less fortunate among us to make a meaningful living for themselves and their families. I look forward to seeing our public and private sector working toward getting rid of corruption and being more transparent in their decisions and operations. I would also like to see us as a people being more respectful of each other and not belittle another person because of their views.
Itana Henry, Legal Clerk, Social Activist, Pension Trustee: I think when one envisions the outlook for Jamaica in 2017, the myriad of challenges Jamaicans will face appears daunting. The primary issue we will face is how to address the socio-economic challenges that so greatly impact our lives. I propose a solution incorporating a strategy to fix/pick the low hanging fruit issues – i.e. requiring small usage of resources and the political will. The best example is keeping the environment clean as it doesn’t cost any money for us simply to be disciplined enough not to litter! People would’ve seen the great costly negative impact the lack of effecient garbage collection, dump fires in Mobay and Kingston had on health and businesses in 2016. I envision us saving billions of dollars in 2017 should we become more environmentally aware and conscious.
Javette Nixon, CEO, Point Global Marketing Ltd: I am wishing in 2017 for a greater recognition from all Jamaicans of our individual capacity to create and promote positive change in our society. All of us, whether we are entrepreneurs, working professionals, students or just ordinary citizens, can play a role in creating positive movements to for example, reduce crime and protect our environment. We have to do this by each of us accepting our individual responsibly to create the society we want through our actions. And then going out every day and positively working towards it. I wish we all create the change we want to see in Jamaica this year.
Kadeem Pet-Grave, CEO, Educatours JA: Entrepreneurship and Brand Jamaica are major tools of economic growth. In 2017 I wish to see government, citizens and big businesses doing a better job at embracing, sharing and preserving the things that are truly Jamaican and supporting the people who represent and produce things Jamaican; starting with our history, heritage sites, young entrepreneurs and creatives. The Brand Jamaica the world so loves is predominantly our people and culture and if we do not preserve and nurture our culture and people, we will lose them and as result lose our greatness. Creatives and entrepreneurs possess the skills necessary to strengthen Brand Jamaica and solve national problems hampering economic growth. If we identify, support and nurture these creatives and entrepreneurs, they will in turn convert our problems into goods, services, jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all, thus strengthening Brand Jamaica.
Dane Richardson, CEO, Digicel Foundation: Jamaica has long been ready to stand firmly in her place among the greats. Let’s shift from our conditioned temperament of social and economic injustice and inequity. Easier said than done; but 54 years after Independence our motto is a consistent reminder.
Ross Sheil, Digital Media Consultant and Part-Time NGO Worker: Want to speak about crime in our communities: last year August Town recorded zero murders for the first time in 40 years. This was achieved by the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) mobilising the entire community from police to church members to gang members – who should all be held up as heroes to the rest of Jamaica. It’s an approach that those who have been putting in the hard work on the ground know actually works: it saves lives and allows communities to build back, if sustained. So my hope for 2017 is that more people get inspired to get involved; or support those like PMI. Because at the end of the day all Jamaican children have the right to be growing up in communities that are resilient enough to can protect them from the stomach-churning levels of violence and abuse they currently face. We should have the confidence as a nation do much, much better! @rosssheil
Damien Marcus Williams, Community Mobilizer, JamHabitat: For 2017, I will love to see a lot more compassion; even towards those we believe are undeserving. Our thoughts, words & actions must come from a place of the highest good we will like for ourselves.