On November 23, 2011 the staff at Projects Abroad Jamaica met in an intense planning session for the Immunitiative Project. The meeting began at approximately 8:00am with an aim to develop an action plan for the Immunitiative Project.
The meeting was lead by the Country Director, with staff pitching ideas in a brainstorming session. Flip charts were used to document our suggestions under various categories. The main categories were Legal Framework, Design & Construction, Operations/Operational Issues, Marketing & PR, Partners/Re-engaging, Sponsorship List, Fundraising, Community Involvement, Staffing, Safety & Security, Roles of Volunteers, Capacity Building, Costing, Sustainability, Resources – Human Resources and Resource Listing.
Many useful ideas were developed, subsequent to this a draft action plan was developed and discussions points raised and documented to facilitate further talks. We are hopeful that the action plan will specifically guide our steps in constructing an HIV/AIDS care facility in Mandeville, Jamaica.
This update also serves as a reminder for persons to support the Immunitiative Project. Join our Facebook page for more information, search for Immunitiative Jamaica. Help us spread the word.
Two Rasta men went to the river one day but one of them could not swim the one who could not swim was sitting on the river bank singing and chanting, while the one who could swim went in the water, he went so far out that he started to sink, drowning he started calling out Selassie save me seeing that nothing was happening he started calling out Jesus, Father God help, despite all this the Rasta man still drowned. When the police came and asked the Rasta man who was chanting why he didn’t save his Rasta friend he answered, “Officer I’m sitting here chanting watching the man and he didn’t call my name so why should I save him and he didn’t ask me?”
It has been a long time coming, but I know an Immunitiative update is due for the My Trip blog audience. Remember Immunitiative, I guess not so here is a reminder...
Projects Abroad Jamaica and the Australian BridgIT Water Foundation are partnering to help improve the quality of life for children living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica. The project has been dubbed, “Immunitiative.” The venture will seek to provide an ideal environment for children living with HIV/AIDS. The concept is to care for these special children in a familial setting and cater to their social and physiological health. The BridgIT Water Foundation will be primarily responsible for funding the venture; however we are encouraging every human within the Jamaican locale or extended to the wider global space to make their individual contributions by cash or care. These contributions will be used to sustain the facility and adequately provide for the physiological and social needs of the children who will live and develop at this state of the art residence.
Currently there are major steps being executed to realize this vision by 2012. We have now centralized our information by creating a facebook page, called Immunitiative Jamaica. We provide information for our supporters and provide a medium where they are free to comment about issues concerning Project Immunitiative. We have also launched- “Dubbing the Immunitiative Facility- Vision 2012” competition, which encourages all creative individuals to create a name for the HIV/AIDS care facility. Currently the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston Jamaica has offered to sponsor three (3) nights to the winner of the competition" make sure to be a part of this exciting competition post your suggestions on the facebook page.
Also we are still in fundraising mode approaching possible local entities to assist with our cause. Also we have an upcoming planning session to discuss our progress. Many persons have come on board to assist us with this vision, as such let me use this opportunity to thank them for their continued support. After our planning session we are set to provide you with more updates, so until then, join our facebook page and don’t hesitate to make a contribution cash or kind, also encourage your friends to support the cause.
As part of the Project’s Abroad building project, in association with ADRA, I was lucky enough to participate in a three day training course with the Red Cross. The focus of the workshop was on the key technical aspects of building a house that would be more able to resist natural hazards that are increasingly affecting Jamaica, and the greater Caribbean.
As a student currently undertaking a degree in Construction Management at the University of Melbourne I was very impressed at the content of the course, as it was so essential to the area, yet also very practical. The ‘students-for-the-day’ came from all walks of life – as farmers, labourers and teachers, all who seemed to have a decent amount of experience in building, yet none with any technical qualifications. It was the ideal audience for such information, and the material was simple enough to have a lasting impact, and effective enough to make a difference in many communities.
The first day was spent ‘in the classroom’ with a lecture on the technical aspects of housing vulnerability, and then largely focused on what measures could be taken to reinforce concrete and wooden houses against hurricanes and earthquakes. This was of course where I felt most comfortable, as the lecture material was very well presented, and led me to recall much of my own learning from years past.We were taught of the need to consider house shape, roof shape, fixings, materials, and the overall resistance of a house as a complete structure. Most interesting though, was the discussion of concrete ratios, and the nasty little habit in Jamaica of adding more water to make concrete! It was comforting to see the locals quickly understand the immediate impact this has on the strength of the concrete- simple, but essential.
It was also great to see the locals getting involved in all of the information, sharing with one another their different experiences and opinions, which could all be made into a final correct solution from the professional, a lovely French lady, Emilise.
The next two days were spent undertaking the practical application of the information learnt, all under the direction of Emilise. It was lucky too, because they were very happy to go straight back to their old habits without constant reminding! My supervisors expressed later how helpful the practical aspect was to them, and their intention to implement many of the practices in the future. And the best part- Three families had their roofs fixed! Oh, and that a delicious lunch was provided!
“Phone card, Phone card, banana chips, cash fi gold…” these are the opening lines to the chorus of a popular Dancehall tune taking over the airwaves here it Jamaica, the song is called “The Street Hustler’s Anthem” as the name suggests it chants of the daily life or even struggles of the street hustler, or as I have dubbed them the “Itinerant Peddlers” or you may be more familiar with street vendors.
Jamaica is home to a nation of hardworking individuals, most of us may not hold traditional or commonplace jobs or exist within the standard professional setting, as the statistics suggest unemployment is currently on a high in Jamaica, as can be said for many other countries in the world, but many of us are creative in earning the dollar or as we say in Jamaica, “getting the paper” Most times, as I often tell volunteers, Jamaicans are always poised for hustling. In Jamaica the saying is almost as popular as a religious chant, “Mi a baawn hustla”- I am a born hustler.
As such Jamaicans tend to become very creative in their search for economic independence one such creation gives rise to the street hustler, who can be observed patrolling the streets in the various towns and locales within Jamaican showcasing their wares to potential consumers. Phone Cards seem to be the number one item of sale, coming in second is the ‘bag juice’ and others of its kind, you are almost always sure to hear ‘Juicy,Juicy’ from men and women carrying various forms of refreshing beverage in various forms and styles of portable packaging- and you can guess that in a tropical climate such as Jamaica these will go very fast.
Items such as socks, under garments, nail clippers, pins, batteries, rat poison, matches, fruits, soup, snacks, aphrodisiacs, you name it, When in Jamaica, vendors will definitely stop by your window offering various items of sale. Now with the cash for gold trade, you will see men on the streets calling out for your gold and offering payment, local tabloids, such as the “Star” are also a popular sell.
Jamaicans are innovative in their way to earn, at times they will even be running away from the police, because of course this is illegal in Jamaica- and will still be saying, “nice lady mi caa sell yuh sum’ting” It’s all hilarious I tell you, there can never be an unexciting of uninspiring moment living in Jamaica, there is much to see and much to be in awe about. By the way you can always take a listen to the song, “Street Hustler’s Anthem” on YouTube- might just give you a bit more insight into the world of Jamaican street hustling.
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