JIS News

The United Kingdom (UK) Diaspora will be officially launched on Diaspora Day, June 16. The body will comprise five regional groupings – North, East, West and South Midlands and a London-based group, which is yet to be formed.
A 14-member steering committee was appointed last Saturday (Jan.15) to make proposals for the composition of the London group.
Delegates at last June’s conference agreed that the setting up of regional groups was the best way forward to ensure the participation of the entire Jamaican community, while maintaining the integrity of the individual community groups and organizations.
In her address at last Saturday’s meeting, which was held at the Jamaican High Commission in London, Diaspora Advisory Board UK representative, Paulette Simpson, urged the participants to work together for the success of the UK Diaspora.
“The success of the UK Diaspora rest with all of us,” she said, adding that all the participants were interested in the development of all Jamaicans and of Jamaica.
She noted that already, the UK delegates have initiated a letter writing and petition campaign to support the efforts of the Jamaican sugar industry to get more time before the implementation of changes to the sugar regime between the European Union and the African Caribbean and Pacific states. The changes include a 37 per cent cut in the price paid for sugar.
Saturday’s meeting also looked at the setting up of special interest groups for areas including health, education and culture, business and economic issues, political and legal matters and faith and religious issues. The meeting was also asked to consider persons for a UK lobby group and activities to celebrate Diaspora Day.
Teacher Marie Williams said the discussions were promising and she was particularly pleased that education and culture were given focus.
The former Chairman of the Associations of Jamaicans, Mavis Stewart, described the meeting as “excellent” and showed the deep respect and love for Jamaica that still existed in the Jamaican community. “It does my heart good to see this and to be part of it”, she stated.
A web site and temporary e-mail address for the UK Diaspora will be launched shortly.

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