Jamaica Middle East Diaspora Eager to Give Back

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Members of the Jamaica Middle East Diaspora, Christen King (left) and Administrator, Marcia Clarke, at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston. It is the first time that the group, formed in 2016, is being represented at the conference.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Middle East Diaspora is looking to partner with local entities on various projects in support of national development.
  • “All of us have a common goal, which is we love our country and we want to give back,” said Administrator of the group, Marcia Clarke.
  • Miss Clarke, who has been teaching in Abu Dhabi for four years, noted that while the group is predominately composed of teachers, it also has members from a wide cross-section of professions including the medical field, aviation, engineering and marketing.

The Jamaica Middle East Diaspora is looking to partner with local entities on various projects in support of national development.

“All of us have a common goal, which is we love our country and we want to give back,” said Administrator of the group, Marcia Clarke.

“We are passionate and we are ready to support. We do not want to stay on the sidelines and criticise. We have families and friends in Jamaica and we want to see things go well and that is why we are seeking partnerships,” she noted further.

Miss Clarke was speaking to JIS News at the staging of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

The group, primarily comprised of Jamaicans living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is attending its first Diaspora conference since being formed in August 2016.

Miss Clarke, who has been teaching in Abu Dhabi for four years, noted that while the group is predominately composed of teachers, it also has members from a wide
cross-section of professions including the medical field, aviation, engineering and marketing.

“When we realised that we had other professionals then we made it inclusive so our objective is now partnering for growth, along the theme of the Diaspora Conference, to identify ways in which we can support Jamaica through entities here,” she told JIS News.

On Thursday (July 27), which will be observed as Diaspora Day of Service, the group will be staging two workshops at the Mico University College in Kingston.

These include a session on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for teachers and students, and another on empowering and preparing Jamaican youth for the global job market.

Miss Clarke said the group decided to place emphasis on STEM subjects because this is one of the areas of education that needs the greatest support.

“Mathematics and science are areas that are critical to students all over the world and we thought that integrating technology into the curriculum, through robotics and animation, would support this,” she explained.

As it relates to the job empowerment session, member of the group, Kristen King, said it is not only important for persons to have information on the global job market but to be able to access these markets.

“Persons are looking across the world for opportunity in not only the traditional regions such as Europe and North America but also in areas like Asia. We want to give them the opportunity to dream and achieve their goals and be successful,” said Ms. King, who has been teaching in Dubai for one year.

The Jamaica Middle East Diaspora has approximately 100 active members and is working to engage the other estimated 400 first and second generation Jamaicans living in the region.

The membership also includes Jamaicans living in countries that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) including Kuwait, Qatar, Omen and Bahrain.

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