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Story Highlights

  • Sprint legend, Merlene Ottey, has endorsed the Mapping the Jamaican Diaspora Project, which was launched in the United Kingdom (UK) on June 13.
  • Miss Ottey told State Minister Arnaldo Brown that she supported the project and urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora to participate in it.
  • Mr. Brown said the project will also identify members of the Diaspora with special skills and experiences that can be used to fill roles in Jamaica, and to also represent Jamaica in specific roles internationally.

Sprint legend, Merlene Ottey, has endorsed the Mapping the Jamaican Diaspora Project, which was launched in the United Kingdom (UK) on June 13 by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown.

Ms. Ottey, who was in London, participated in a meeting organised by the Jamaican High Commission, during which Mr. Brown outlined the details of the Mapping Project to a group of UK-based church leaders.

Miss Ottey told Mr. Brown that she supported the project and urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora to participate in it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Brown told the church leaders that the project will improve the Government’s engagement with the Diaspora, and will also identify members of the Diaspora with special skills and experiences that can be used to fill roles in Jamaica, and to also represent Jamaica in specific roles internationally.

The State Minister asked them to assist in the campaign to get the word out about the project.

According to Mr. Brown, a comprehensive database of Jamaicans in the Diaspora was a necessary developmental tool, as it would assist the Government in locating Jamaicans all over the world who “possess the  skill sets associated with our critical development projects that we may currently not have in sufficient supply.”

The Mapping Project is supported and funded by   the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The State Minister also urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora to take up citizenship of the country in which they live and become engaged in the political process, in order to ensure that their issues are recognised and addressed.

The Diaspora is encouraged to participate in the survey by logging on to: www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int

The website will house two survey instruments – one geared towards individuals, and the other towards community, alumni or other philanthropic associations. The mapping project was launched in Jamaica on June 10, with other launches to take place in the United States of America and Canada.