JIS News

Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan is urging all Jamaican organisations in Canada to come together and form a ‘Joint Council of Jamaican Canadian Diaspora Organisations’.
He said this would not only create greater cohesiveness among the groups but also fulfill the objectives set by the Diaspora representation and the Government of Jamaica at the first ever Diaspora conference held in Jamaica, in 2004.
Addressing representatives from almost 50 Jamaican organisations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) at the Jamaican Canadian Centre recently, Mr. Ramocan said it was vital that the community join forces “to dialogue, discuss and exchange ideas” to present to the Jamaica Diaspora Board.
“If the primary function of the Diaspora Board is to advise the Minister on issues related to the Diaspora, then there needs to be broad-based consultation with the community to get the issues,” he argued.
The Consul General said that as Jamaica approaches its 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2012, it would be very symbolic to develop the Joint Council which would “broaden and deepen our collaboration on issues of common interests to Jamaica and the Jamaican Canadian community.”
Mr. Ramocan also suggested that members of the Joint Council would act as proxy voters on behalf of the wider Diaspora to elect the leaders and the representatives of the Diaspora Board in Jamaica. He urged the various organisations present to send at least two of their members to the upcoming Diaspora Conference, to be held from June 14 to 17 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios.
In break-out sessions, the audience discussed several topics, including the establishment of a Secretariat for the Joint Council; the qualifying criteria for persons seeking election to the Diaspora Board; financing the work and activity of the Diaspora Board; how best to mobilise support and attendance at the upcoming Diaspora Conference; and how to produce a magazine highlighting the work and achievements of the Jamaican Canadian Diaspora associations in time for the Conference.
Also making presentations were the co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Independence Committee, Ms. Pamela Appelt; President of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation (JDCF), Mrs.Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; and Chair of the Future Leaders of the JDCF, Leo Campbell.
Giving an update on the upcoming Diaspora Conference, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams urged all to give their support to Jamaica.
“The Diaspora is an organism, a movement of people coming together for a particular purpose and ignited by a cause. We are all members of the Diaspora and we are important to its foundation, growth, development and success,” she added.

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