International Rural Women’s Day in Cockpit Country (and beyond)

Happy International Rural Women’s Day! This year, the focus is on women farmers. Frequently lauded for their strength, hard work and resilience, they are a solid presence in rural Jamaica – over one third of rural women are farmers. Three years ago, I met a group of them at a Farmer’s School graduation ceremony, and … More International Rural Women’s Day in Cockpit Country (and beyond)

Some Marley news, Part 1: Inaugural Rita Marley Scholarships awarded

This is about hope, and support. Did you know that Rita, the widow of Bob Marley and Founder and Chair of the eponymous Foundation, was once a nurse? Now, three tertiary students of nursing have received scholarships from her Rita Marley Foundation, in honor of Rita’s 75th birthday on July 25. The recipients are Esther … More Some Marley news, Part 1: Inaugural Rita Marley Scholarships awarded

A Caribbean woman causes a stir at the United Nations

Caribbean people love speeches. I have sat through so many speeches in Jamaica; most have been at least ten minutes too long. I have even written quite a few myself. Yes, Caribbean people know how to “talk the hind leg off a donkey,” as the saying goes. Some political leaders have been famous for it. … More A Caribbean woman causes a stir at the United Nations

COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

In my last news update, I wrote: It was disturbing to learn recently that only 10 per cent of the prison population has been vaccinated (was a truly concerted effort to get them vaccinated ever undertaken?) Now even more worryingly, we learn that 58 prisoners and 38 staff members have tested positive.  In his State of … More COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

Government funding withdrawn from Jamaica Environment Trust’s 24-year-old Schools Environment Programme

The news that landed in my inbox today filled me with mixed emotions (mainly, anger). Despite the enormous success of the programme over the years, the Schools Environment Programme (SEP) has finally had the rug pulled from under it by its main donor, the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is … More Government funding withdrawn from Jamaica Environment Trust’s 24-year-old Schools Environment Programme

Jamaica’s Kids Climate Camp plants seeds of awareness

There is a perception that younger children cannot grasp climate change issues. It’s too complicated. So, at least in Jamaica, education on climate change only begins with high school students, who are studying science (and I am honestly not sure how much the topic is a part of the curriculum). All of this needs to … More Jamaica’s Kids Climate Camp plants seeds of awareness

Working with Nature to reduce disaster risk in Jamaica

A new and significant project was launched on August 31: The “Greening Red Cross and Red Crescent Disaster and Risk Reduction: Saving Lives Through Working with Nature” (yes, that is the full name!) – called the “Eco-DRR Project” for short. The project, funded by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, will take place in just … More Working with Nature to reduce disaster risk in Jamaica

Record numbers vaccinated in one day in Jamaica

No Movement Day #3. And it was hectic in some areas, as Jamaicans crowded vaccination centres – mostly outside the city of Kingston – in surprising numbers. Although the Government was targeting high school students, aged 12 to 18, for the Pfizer vaccinations, to enable them to return to face-to-face classes – many adults turned … More Record numbers vaccinated in one day in Jamaica

Now COVID-19 vaccines are here in Jamaica, some of us would still prefer to party but – just get vaccinated

The Delta variant has “officially” arrived, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced. Twenty-two out of forty samples were returned from the Caribbean Public Health Agency. We are in the early stages of the dreaded Third Wave. Already, it is terrible. As all this is happening, we are also struggling with a wave of … More Now COVID-19 vaccines are here in Jamaica, some of us would still prefer to party but – just get vaccinated