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

September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

With tropical storms pottering around in the Atlantic (two are called Peter and Rose, the names of our nephew and niece, respectively), it has been warm and muggy in Kingston. Clouds appear and do not bring rain. It has been a week of surprising developments – not least that of the toast to “No Movement … More September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

Jamaican gender activist Linnette Vassell tells older women: “Step out of fear”

I have a mental gathering of “Jamaicans I admire” in my head. They never cease to inspire me. They are young, and older, and in between, and in all walks of life. Linnette Vassell is one. This quiet afternoon – the first in three days of COVID-19 lockdown – I listened to a short interview … More Jamaican gender activist Linnette Vassell tells older women: “Step out of fear”

Jamaica Economy Panel discusses vaccine hesitancy and the need for strong information campaigns

It has been disconcerting, frustrating and at times quite depressing to discuss vaccine hesitancy in Jamaica and elsewhere on social media. My heart sinks further when I read reports today about protests in St. Vincent (where the 75-year-old Prime Minister was injured during a demonstration, and is apparently not quite recovered) and in Barbados and … More Jamaica Economy Panel discusses vaccine hesitancy and the need for strong information campaigns

Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

These are tense times. While most of Jamaica has been glued to the Olympics track events – obviously, our forte – the number of COVID-19 cases has been accumulating rapidly. New cases are now in three digits daily, and so are hospital admissions. It is alarming, but what’s happening in Tokyo has provided a welcome … More Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

The discussion about gender-based violence continues in the Jamaican media; in fact, it never really goes away. But very often, those who suffer are not aware that help is available. The Community Paralegal (CP) programme is there to help. It is delivered by the non-governmental organization Stand Up For Jamaica, with grant funding from the … More The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

No more silent cries! Thursday in Black campaign to end gender-based violence and child abuse continues tomorrow

We have to continue speaking out on issues that concern us. A lot of these issues get forgotten about when they are no longer headline news – but it really needs to be a continuous reminder of what’s wrong in our society (whether people want to hear it or not). Advocacy must be consistent, and … More No more silent cries! Thursday in Black campaign to end gender-based violence and child abuse continues tomorrow

Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

The problem-plagued Olympic Games in Tokyo finally got under way, and has proved a helpful distraction for Jamaicans fretting about COVID-19 and everything else. And we had some soothing rain – although it has been a contentious week, with insults flying here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and on a personal note…our roof is still leaking. … More Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

UNICEF renews call for ban on corporal punishment in Jamaica

A child is just a child. Not an adult, but an adult in the making. How then, does a small human being (who has not yet worked things out for him/herself) deserve to be shouted at, beaten, slapped and kicked into submission, in the name of so-called “discipline”? That small child deserves love, nurturing, protection … More UNICEF renews call for ban on corporal punishment in Jamaica