Jamaica Diaspora Task Force responds to the Crime Crisis in Jamaica

A delegation of Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Leaders toured key communities as part of a needs assessment for crime intervention programs planned for June 2020
Jamaica Diaspora Task Force responds to the Crime Crisis in Jamaica

Diaspora delegation and stakeholders, left to right: Leo Gilling, Charmaine Muirhead, Andre Wilson, Charles Clayton, Karlene Largie, Lavern Kitson, Claudette Powell, Kameka Chung, Dr. Beverly Gordon, Andrea Dailey, Dr. Alison Smith, Dr. Ganesh Shetty Denise McLaughlin, Krystle Wright, Dr. Grethel Bradford, Shirnett Bailey, Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, Donna Morton, Jovan Miller.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A delegation of Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Leaders have recently completed a week of strategic meetings and tours of the Salt Springs community in Montego Bay and the Mountain View community in Kingston hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Lasco Chin Foundation (LCF) and the USAID Local Partner Development (USAID LPD.)

The sessions also included Crime Prevention and Community Safety from the Ministry of National Security, the Peace Management Institute (PMI), the Social Development Commission (SDC) and other stakeholders as part of a needs assessment in preparation for Jamaica Week of Action 2020, June 1-5 of this year.

Jamaica Week of Action 2020, is a new undertaking by the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN).

All the Taskforces will execute simultaneous projects around a common development theme, Crime. The week will culminate with the kickoff of the Jamaica Tree Planting Project on World Environment Day, June 5th.
This Jamaica Tree Planting Project seeks to plant at least 100k trees over one year in recognition of the significance of climate resilience and environmental conservation and supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  #13 (Climate Change) and #15 (Life on Land).
It is also part of a larger regional initiative that seeks to plant 1 million trees across the Caribbean in 12 months.  The Caribbean project is led by the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CPA), an alliance of the largest private-sector foundations in the Caribbean and other stakeholders. 2020 marks the beginning of the last ten (10) years to achieve the 2030 SDGs and Jamaica Vision 2030.

The JDTAN Jamaica Week of Action initiative was designed in recognition of this ten-year sprint towards 2030.

The strategic planning sessions were held at PIOJ headquarters in Kingston.

Monday’s session started with presentations by Charles Clayton, Programme Director of the PIOJ on the Community Renewal Programme and Brigadier Williams who provided an overview of the National Citizen Security Plan – Plan Secure Jamaica.
Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, CEO of the Lasco Chin Foundation and President of the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CPA) highlighted the importance of forging collaborative relationships in addressing the problem of youth crime and violence.
Monday’s session also included updates from each Task Force Leader on their key initiatives.
The week continued with a Tuesday trip to Montego Bay to tour the Salt Springs community and to meet with members of the PMI, the SDC, and the CDC among others.
On Wednesday the delegation toured the Mountain View Community and visited Clan Carty high school in Kingston.

The week closed on Thursday with a deep dive into the Jamaica Tree Planting Project and an overview of the Ministry of Health’s, Adopt a Clinic program.

JDTAN  Founder and Chair, Leo Gilling commented: “We have received an overwhelming amount of information to help us forge the correct path this week.  Now as leaders, our eyes are open to what’s out there. When we return to meet with our Taskforce teams, our interventions will be based on actual needs vs what we perceive them to be.  Our plan is to collaborate to customize and implement actionable solutions based on the needs of the Salt Springs and Mountain View communities.  The tours were eye-opening, our goal was to observe, listen, take notes and ask questions. I am thankful to all the Task Force Leaders for taking the time to make this trip. Performing a needs assessment is important to the work of the Diaspora, it ensures that our plans and our work are fully aligned with the development plans of Jamaica.” He went on to say “I am grateful to the partnership we have forged with Dr. Rosalea Hamilton of the Lasco Chin  Foundation, Charles  Clayton and Charmaine Muirhead from the PIOJ, and Morana Smodlaka Krajnovic and her team from the USAID Local Partner Development and the many other stakeholders we met with who are passionate about their community and country. This is how we maximize our work and our impact: Jamaicans in Jamaica and in the Diaspora sitting at the same table working together.

Charles Clayton, Programme Director of the PIOJ added “Much of the failure to address the dysfunctional elements among our society, rests on the fact that most of our development institutions and organizations have for decades, operated within silos.

By working collaboratively within a common framework, we are able to reduce waste from duplication and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our programmes through better targeting, enhanced resourcing and a more holistic approach to addressing the causal factors behind our dysfunctions.”

Jamaica Diaspora Task Force delegation 

-The Agriculture Task Force  – Denise McLaughlin
-The Behavioral Health Task Force – Dr. Grethel Bradford & Dr Beverly Gordon.
-The Education Taskforce – Leo Gilling, Karlene Largie, Andrea Dailey
-The Environment and Climate Change  Task Force – Lavern Kitson, Stephen Snider, and Gregory Barrett
-The Health Task Force – Claudette Powell
-The Legal Sector Support Taskforce   – Alison Smith
-The Technology and Entrepreneurship Taskforce – Krystle Wright, Michael Campbell
-The Parenting, and Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Taskforce – Shirnett Bailey
-The Youth Empowerment Taskforce – Donna Morton

The Jamaica Diaspora Task Forces united together last year as the Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Action Network (JDTAN).

JDTAN seeks to provide a collaborative approach to engage and mobilize the Jamaican Diaspora to join forces and support Jamaica in achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Jamaica Vision 2030.

Jamaica Diaspora Task forces started with a focus on Education in 2013 and has expanded over the last seven years to 15 defined sectoral areas.

To join Jamaica Week of Action 2020 visit joinataskforce.jdtan.org

To support the Jamaica Tree Planting Project visit plantatree.jdtan.org

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