JIS News

The Washington DC-based Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) has contributed US$500 to assist the rehabilitation efforts in Haiti in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), His Excellency Anthony Johnson, accepted the cheque from JNA President, Ms. Claudette Henry at a brief ceremony held recently at the Embassy in Washington.
Ambassador Johnson commended the members of JNA for their contribution towards the relief efforts in Haiti. “It is our duty as Caribbean nationals to assist our brothers and sisters when they are in need,” he stated.
Ms. Henry, for her part, stated that the donation was in response to an appeal from Ambassador Johnson to Jamaican organisations in Washington to support those who were affected by the earthquake. She stated that the JNA did not waver when the appeal came and would be rendering further assistance.
She used the opportunity to update Ambassador Johnson on the various projects that the JNA will be undertaking this year, including the establishment of ‘Jamaica House’, which will serve as its operational headquarters and a venue to showcase Jamaican culture and the Jamaican brand.
Ms. Henry explained that the facility, which will be set up in either Washington, DC or Maryland, will serve as a location for discussion of Jamaican and Caribbean issues and offer programmes to children of Jamaican immigrants.
“We need a centre where non-Jamaicans and second and third generation Jamaican-American children can be exposed to what is good and culturally representative of the best that Jamaica has to offer. Jamaica House will be accessible to the entire community with particular focus on students, new immigrants, youth and the elderly,” she pointed out.
Ms. Henry said that the organisation is also looking to increase membership by at least 50 per cent, as well as create a “transition outreach” programme for the children of newly-arrived immigrants residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Another goal is to increase JNA’s charitable efforts, including the award of book grants to college students of Jamaican heritage.
Ambassador Johnson stated that the establishment of ‘Jamaica House’ is very timely and lauded the group for its foresight.