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  • Over 500 young Jamaicans are slated to attend a series of four-week educational summer camps, this year, being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a cost of approximately $28.95 million (US$250,000).
  • This was disclosed by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, during his 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, last week.
  • Mr. Brown said the camp’s concept was spearheaded by the Taskforce, which was established during the 2013 renewal of the biennial Diaspora Conference, with inputs from participants in a special Forum held in February 2014.

Over 500 young Jamaicans are slated to attend a series of four-week educational summer camps, this year, being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a cost of approximately $28.95 million (US$250,000).

Dubbed ‘Summer Camp Plus’, the engagements, which will be hosted by the Diaspora Education Taskforce, are scheduled for July 6 to August 5 at Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, St. James; Cedar Grove Academy, St. Catherine; and the College of Arts, Science and Education (CASE), Portland.

This was disclosed by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, during his 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, last week.

Mr. Brown said the camp’s concept was spearheaded by the Taskforce, which was established during the 2013 renewal of the biennial Diaspora Conference, with inputs from participants in a special Forum held in February 2014.

“Out of that forum, a six-year Education System Development Plan was formulated; and as a result of that this year… we are going to have ‘Summer Camp Plus,’ which was an initiative of the Ministry of Education,” he said, adding that it ceased as a result of resource constraints.

Mr. Brown told the House that another positive outcome of the 2013 conference was a health forum, held in Toronto, Canada, in July 2014.

He said evolving from that was the development of an action plan for addressing the “major findings” of the Diaspora fact finding mission to Jamaica in 2011. This, to analyze and determine the country’s health care needs.

Consequent on that forum, Mr. Brown said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by representatives of the Sunnybrook Hospital in Canada, Ministry of Health, and University of the West Indies (UWI), to facilitate subsequent activities.

Another engagement evolving from the 2013 conference, the State Minister further said, was the launch of the Diaspora Youth Connect Initiative, in October 2014.

He advised that since then, young persons in the Diaspora have conducted entrepreneurship training in the communities of Flankers and Granville in St. James.

The State Minister said a Report Card, highlighting the outcome and progress of a number of projects, will be given at the 2015 Diaspora Conference, in June.

“We will be presenting a report card of all that has happened from the last conference… to this year, and people are going to be very surprised and pleased about the level of things that we have (to report on) in this Conference,” Mr. Brown said.