UK High Commissioner Welcomes Jamaican Birthright Programme


Jamaica’s High Commissioner to London, Maxine Roberts has welcomed Grace Kennedy and Company’s Birthright Internship programme, noting that it complemented the Government’s efforts to strengthen ties with overseas-based Jamaicans.
The project had its United Kingdom launch at the High Commission in London on March 12. “Targeting the first and second and third generations in a programme of professional development and cultural exchange can only strengthen the message that Jamaica is a country with not just a rich heritage in the arts, but also with a strong tradition in business and entrepreneurship,” Mrs. Roberts stated.
The Grace Kennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme will provide a total of six, nine-week internships to university students who are of Jamaican parentage living in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. The internship will last for two months, from June and July, and during that time, students will work on rotation thereby gaining professional experience in a variety of industries. Families within the Grace Kennedy and Company network will host the students during the eight-week period.
Noting that the intent was to strengthen links among Jamaicans around the world, Grace’s CEO, Douglas Orane said the candidates would be immersed in the Jamaican culture, as weekend programmes would also be arranged to include visits to historical sites and scenic locations.
The deadline for applications is in April and more information on the Jamaican Birthright programme is available on the Grace Kennedy site @ www.gracekennedy.com.
Endorsing the programme, Mrs. Roberts said it would ensure that Jamaicans abroad have information about the island that was true and accurate. “The first hand experience that is offered by the Jamaica Birthright Programme, we hope, will ensure that the selected participants receive a well-rounded and balanced view of our island home,” she added.
The High Commissioner said the Government has recognized the important contribution of overseas-based Jamaicans and has put in place measures to ensure that they could continue to fully participate in the country’s national development plan. “In fact, in July 2002, the Government announced its new trade policy, which involved implementing a charter for returning residents and included targeting the first, second and third generations. Indeed, the Government has appointed Minister, Senator Delano Franklyn, who has special responsibility for Jamaicans overseas”, the High Commissioner pointed out.

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