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Grp 4 E-Magazine Final Project JOUR333 Flipbook PDF

Grp 4 E-Magazine Final Project JOUR333




Issue Date: May 10, 2022 Issue No. 01

JamDung R






Blackboard LO





How has the crisis in What's happening in Ukraine been affecting Central Jamaica? Jamaica? The latest on COVID-19...

Hello reader! Thank you for your interest in this issue of the JamDung Blackboard Magazine, the best local feature magazine on the block. This magazine was curated by the students of Group 4 in the JOUR333 2025 Feature Writing class of the spring 2022 semester. In this issue, you will be introduced to our writers as well as enticed by ten intriguing and well-organized feature pieces that were written just for you! So grab your coffee and your glasses if you wear one, and read on!


Amoy Harriott Tia Osbourne Trivell Thompson

Phone: (876) 618-1652 | Email: [email protected] | Website:

TOPIC Professional Profiles Faith-Based Features Feature Critique Historial Feature War Feature COVID-19 Feature Central Jamaica Features To-Do Feature Personality Corner

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Phone: (876) 618-1652 | Email: jamdungblac[email protected] | Website:


AMOY HARRIOTT Intellectual, strong-minded and disciplined are perhaps three of the best words to describe Amoy Harriott. She is a third-year student who spends most of her time dabbling in any and everything relating to journalism and hosting. Her love and passion for journalism led to the pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Journalism. Amoy has been on the Dean's list throughout her academic tenure at NCU. She currently possesses a Magna Cum Laude GPA of 3.81. Outside of her academic scope within the department, she also works as a News Producer and Reporter at the Jamaica News Network (JNN). Amoy is a graduate of the Ardenne High School where she attained eight Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) subjects. She later pursued one year of sixth form at the St Catherine High School where she attained four Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects. When asked what her philosophy is, her response was: "I have different credos that I use to guide me in different situations, but the one I find myself using the most as of recent is this beautiful quote from Martin Luther King Jr. where he said - If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, just keep moving forward.”



TRIVELL THOMPSON Trivell Thompson is a third year Communication Studies Major at the Northern Caribbean University with an emphasis in Television Production. She considers herself to be reserved yet outspoken. She is a no-nonsense individual, sensitive to the concerns of others, she possesses strong interpersonal skills, demonstrating the utmost discretion and integrity when dealing with confidential information. She is also a professional, ambitious and highly skilled Camera Operator able to use a wide range of technical equipment, including professional cinematography camcorders. She has extensive experience working on a number of Television and theater projects, demonstrating an ability to follow artistic direction and the physical capability required on a professional production set. Trivell expresses that her major goal in life is to just be happy. She wants to make mistakes, because that is how she will learn, live without regrets and follow the beat of her own drum even if it’s out of tune. With God at the forefront of her life and decisions, she is committed to her work and future career as a well rounded media practitioner. She is guided by her mantra “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Steve Jobs.



TIA OSBOURNE Tia Osbourne is a conversationalist who sees language as almost an art form. She enjoys writing as a creative outlet that seeks to create colorful images with just black and white. From her younger years, she was very observant of the social and political outcomes around her and would create rationales and over the years matured into her own opinions. These innate passions eventually led to pursuing teritiary studies in Communication in the Department of Communication Studies (DCS) at Northern Caribbean University (NCU). Since her time in the department, she has discovered her love for marketing and branding and so decided to emphasize in Public Relations. Her love for the area has also pushed her to seek experience in building her professional and interpersonal skills among those already in the industry. The junior student is currently working in the Special Projects and Marketing department at NCU FM and freelance writer.

Tia sees the value in hard work and discipline as she strives for academic excellence whilst navigating the real world of work in media. The budding writer likes telling extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Her longtime love for History and Politics is the the foundation of her dream to create a documentary on post-plantation Caribbean societies.


Faith-Based Feature


FAITH-BASED FEATURE In a world that undermined the intelligence and capabilities of children, Samuel defied the odds and proved that even a child can lead. Because of the path paved by Samuel, children in the modern society, too, have been trusted to lead the way. Born in the city of Ramah and raised in the shrine at Shiloh, Samuel was a kind and humble young man. The bible revealed that the 12year-old was described by his mother, Hannah, as a gift from God as she prayed earnestly for a child, during a time when fertility was a challenge for her. Because God blessed her with a child, she vowed to give him to the Lord. “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord,” Hannah said (1 Samuel 1:28). Though Samuel knew his father, Elkanah, very well, he spent most of his childhood under the wings of another man – a priest named Eli. According to an article by Adventist News, Eli was not only Samuel’s teacher, but he played a very important father-figure in his life, despite already having biological sons of his own. Eli loved Samuel very much. He also trusted the young boy to be a minister. Though living apart, his parents loved him very much. Every year Hannah made a new robe for Samuel and brought it to him when she visited the shrine. The writer of the passage revealed that despite being very young, Samuel evidently had within him the abilities to succeed. As such, God directly requested him to serve. One night, while Samuel was laying in the home of Eli, he heard a voice call his name. Upon hearing his name, Samuel approached Eli, thinking the priest called him. However, Eli told him that he did not call him so he should go back to bed. Three times, this occurred.


FAITH-BASED FEATURE Pastor of the Bois Content Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Melvin Parker, explained that Samuel’s life, like the life of young Jesus, is evidence that God can call on anyone to minister on His behalf. “Regardless of age, any and everyone can be stewards for the Lord. Samuel is a clear depiction of a true minister of God. He didn’t allow his age to intimidate him from carrying out God’s work, neither did he back down when God gave him instructions to serve,” Parker said.

On the third call, when Samuel went to Eli, the priest instructed him to address the voice as ‘Lord’. “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,” Samuel said, when the voice called him again (1 Samuel 3:10).

For decades, questions have been raised regarding children’s involvement in the week-to-week proceedings of church services.

God revealed his first of many prophesies to Samuel, and the young boy did as he was instructed.

In response to this matter, the pastor said times are changing. “God called on Samuel when he was just 12 years old. This is proof that no one is too young to serve. We recognize in our church that things and times are not remaining the same. Children are being given a voice, and they are letting their voices be heard. Children are also becoming leaders,” the pastor said.

As Samuel grew older, he acted as a messenger to the Lord and was known by many as a prophet of upright character. Samuel, like his mother predicted, lived up to his name. According to the old testament, the name Samuel means “one who hears God.” As a result of the life lived by Samuel at this tender age, young boys and girls in the modern society have the opportunity and courage to lead in ministerial positions.


Faith-Based Feature

DANIEL - the man of esteemed faith By Trivell Thompson


Daniel is the prime biblical figure from the book of Daniel in the Bible. Daniel is believed to have been a descendent of the royal family of Israel. He is the second son of the King of Israel, David. Daniel's steadfast faith in God is a quality that is highlighted throughout the tale of his life. According to the bible, Daniel was first and foremost a servant of God. He was a prophet who set an example to God's people on how to live a holy life. He survived the lions’ den because of his faith in God. Daniel also predicted the future triumph of the Messianic kingdom. Daniel became a skilled government administrator, excelling at whatever tasks were assigned to him. His court career lasted nearly 70 years. Elder Hyacinth Watson, the first elder of the Bellas Gate Seventh Day Adventist church, revealed that the question being asked by many believers today is whether it is possible to possess the faith that Daniel had in God. In the bible, it was stated that Daniel was only a teenager when introduced in the book of Daniel and was elderly at the end of the book, yet never once in his life did his faith in God waver. Watson said it is only natural that the question of whether we can have the faith that Daniel had in God in today's society pops up. However, it becomes dangerous if we dwell on it.

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“We are human beings, we all have doubts and when I look at Daniel’s unwavering faith in God, though I have questioned if I can possess such faith, it gives me hope that such faith exists. So for me, we should not dwell on whether we are capable of it because that will become dangerous, and we’ll have more questions than answers, instead we should strive towards it,” she said. According to the Bible, Daniel was Jewish, and life in Babylon where he was captured was divergent from Jewish tradition. It was not easy for the Jews that were held slaves to adjust to several customs and habits that went against their beliefs. Daniel, though, was unbreakable during his stay in Babylon. There was not a moment where he lost faith in God as a response to his captivity. He did not stop praying to the Lord even during the decree that deemed all acts of worship not dedicated to the Persian King sinful and punishable. A young Seventh Day Adventist youth and student at the Northern Caribbean University, Lamar Mullings said that for many people when they hear about Daniel the first thing that often comes to mind is the lions’ den or fiery furnace, however, for him the word ‘teen’ often appears. “Though this might be unusual, I think of the word teen because he was only a teen when he was captured in a hostile environment which attempted to strip him of his identity, religion, and culture and he survived, which tells me I can do the same,” Mullings said.

FAITH-BASED FEATURE The university student added that this world continues to challenge his limits by trying to strip him of who he is but like Daniel his faith in God will not waver. The bible states that the prophet Daniel served in various leadership positions in the government of Babylon, one of which was being one of three presidents. Daniel was a Hebrew, a child of Israel. The Hebrews according to the bible were not supposed to mingle with the heathen nations so that they would not adopt their corrupt practices. However, God placed Daniel in the government of Babylon for the purpose of bringing glory to His name. Elder Odane McIntyre said that this shows that Christians can serve and represent God even in the worst situations or places of leadership. “Our society today, though called Christian, is not so godly in its conduct. Like the heathen nations of old, our society does not seem like a place where Christians should want to get involved in, especially in leadership positions. However, there are many Christians that are found in the government and in various other places of leadership in our society, and one example is Sir Patrick Allen, who is the Governor-General of Jamaica.”

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McIntyre also said that the ministry of Daniel demonstrated that one can be a part of these places without compromising their morals and ethics. Well-known Writer and Prophet Ellen G. White said, “The prophet Daniel was an illustrious character. He was a bright example of what men may become when united with the God of wisdom. A brief account of the life of this holy man of God is left on record for the encouragement of those who should afterward be called to endure trial and temptation.” As such, Ellen G. White believes that all Christians who strive to have a closer relationship with God have something to learn from Daniel’s ministry.


FEATURE CRITIQUE Article: The impact of miscarriage on families around the world By Tulip Mazumdar

The title of this feature story was appropriate and written in a fashion almost like a thesis statement. It captures the essence of the story without making wild assumptions or claims to pull attention. The writer starts out by sharing data. The data used is very impactful in several regards because stating that 1in 5 pregnancies does not go full term shows that miscarrying is not at all a rare occurrence, it shows that the topic should not be a taboo and also that women who have miscarriages are not alone but identify with millions of others. The writer did give a disclaimer at the beginning which is also key in ethical journalism, as not everyone is able to handle certain stories. The piece also has an interesting format and a well-rounded perspective. We live in a world now where many people are more open to listening to the experiences of others and acknowledging and sympathizing with differences so this may connect well with readers.

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The feature is very rounded because it was molded by the context of the globe and not just one country or culture as every woman walks through life differently. “Grief is universal, but the care and support women receive during and after miscarriage often depends on where they live...” That statement is very powerful. It exemplifies that women on all fronts are not a monolith but differ in many ways yet are connected by their humanity and susceptibility to loss the similarly at the core despite race, religion, or class. The writer wrote each woman’s experience one by one listing their name, country and age (except one). Each woman’s experience is centered and given chance to be heard as stories like these are often kept closeted. That was an effective way to communicate sensitivity and difference in each woman despite all having the exact issue.


The women featured in the story are from all parts of the globe; Africa, Europe, Asia and North America of which they ranged from their 20s to 50years old. The age variety was also very useful in showing that the grief of miscarrying stays with women for life. The essence of how miscarrying affects a family was brought out in the latter parts of the piece and showed widely different responses based on culture which can worsen the grieving process for some women because of cultural othering or family alienation. The writer was careful in not sharing their personal opinions on each culture but was more interested in how these said cultures could possibly be better support systems for women after the fact. Overall the piece was well written, flowed well from another, had simple and clear language, adequate quotes, and a good balance of information.

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A Blast from the Past: The 1980 election By Tia Osbourne


Time does not heal all wounds... blood for votes It’s a calm Wednesday afternoon in the community of March Pen, Spanish Town. The roadways are almost at a hush as only few brave the sweltering heat under umbrellas for their midday errands. The silence breaking randomly by tooting horns of drivers passing to their friends along the street shows a peaceful and friendly community. However, simple days like these were a distant dream for 74-year-old Clifton Brown in 1980. Jamaica has a history of devout political affiliation and the ugliest version of such passion seems to have been realized not even 2 decades after independence. The 1980 general elections in Jamaica is still considered to date Jamaica’s bloodiest election. The violent display of people of both sides of the political divide raging war against each other to have their own win. The election’s onslaught etched memories in some like Brown that they cannot even find language to speak of their experience. “I still sleep with the lights off. I could write a book because I was big enough at the time to understand what was going on but I don’t even like thinking about [that] time as sometimes I wonder if what I saw was actually real” said the shoemaker. Jamaica Elections Centre says the bloody months leading up to the elections were almost the crescendo of rising tension since the previous election in 1976 which worsened by 1979. Then Prime Minister and Peoples National Party (PNP) head Michael Manley called the elections amidst the violence and mountains of economic ills such as unemployment, foreign debt and lack of investment. While the house was actively in the decision-making process in Gordon House the tension was rising among citizens on the ground. “From the moment them announce the [election] date, it’s almost like the worst turn [worse]. The brethren that you cook and eat with last night will stick you up and tell you who you must vote for the next day,” said Brown.

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HISTORICAL FEATURE The now grandfather has not forgotten anything he saw over 40-years ago. Sadly, he is not alone in this dilemma as many others like him and Delroy Gould are still trying to relieve themselves of the mental burden that many polls say claimed upwards of a1000 lives. “People were killed on toilet seats in broad daylight. I will never forget seeing feet walking past my house as I was under my bed with my ears ringing from gunshot,” he said with his head shaking. The 77-year-old is amongst the few elderly residents that are left in the community that was direct survivors of the bloodshed. March Pen however, is just one community listed among several others in the constituency of Member of Parliament (MP) and Gender Affairs Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange. She has stated publicly at a town hall with Social Development Commission (SDC) in 2014 in an article from the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) that her mission is to develop and make the communities she represents safer.

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“I challenge the SDC’s management to increase its commitment to working with people in communities, especially poor communities, given the economic and social challenges and the disasters [that happened before] that were fuelled by these same[ issues] before,” said the veteran Minister. That election is still one of the only years that had fallen through in voting, spoilt and over-countered ballots despite having one of the highest voter turnouts ever at 86.9% with Hon. Edward Seaga from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) pulling across first. That election is also the only preceding election that voter turnout plunged drastically in the following elections. The 1983 election turnout was 29.4%. The community of March pen road and the island overall has seen much calmer days as the last 4 elections have not seen remotely near 1980 numbers. The conflict did not get any external involvement but rather climaxed after the disappointing win for the incumbent from the PNP. Survivors like Brown and Gould and others across especially Kingston and the rest of St. Catherine still try daily to work through their experiences and carry on with life.

War Feature

Has Russia Also Invaded Jamaica? By Amoy Harriott

WAR FEATURE A Look Into the Economic Impact of the Russia Ukraine War on Jamaica…

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been reverberating across the globe. Though Ukraine is located almost 10,000 kilometers away from Jamaica, the economic repercussions the island has sustained as a result of the war makes one question whether or not Jamaica has also been invaded by Russia. The war between both European nations is hitting all, like a domino effect, and Jamaica has not been spared the brutal whipping. Outside of the evident and dreadful humanitarian crisis from the invasion, the entire global economy has been feeling the effects of faster inflation and slower growth. Russia and Ukraine are two giant producers of major commodities. The conflict between both nations has resulted in higher prices of commodities such as food, oil, and natural gas, further spiking inflation, as if the coronavirus pandemic did not already force the economy to take a big blow. In April, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) reported that the inflation rate for March was 1.6 percent, with the country closing out the fiscal year with an inflation rate of 11.3 percent. The rate was reportedly propelled by the high cost in goods and services. Some players in the financial sector have acknowledged the rate as “within expectations” given the current crisis in Ukraine, while others, such as financial commentator Dennis Chung, said it is still alarming.


“If we’re looking at an average of 1.6 per month, then that’s 20 percent for the year and that is just inflation on the goods in the basket, you haven’t started talking about the luxury items and those other things yet. Therefore, 1.6 is very significant,” he said. The financial expert also cast doubt on the longevity of the inflation as countries sit on the edge of their seats, questioning when the war will end. “We don’t know if we’re going to see inflation falling much lower any time soon, maybe another few months, and then it depends also on how long the war goes on,” Chung said. Like the larger markets, many local businesses experienced a blow from the invasion. “What we find is that the unrest has spooked a lot of customers, causing them to cut back on spending and other economic activities. They’re becoming more conscious so where they don’t have to spend, they won’t, even if that looks like buying half as less groceries or only getting half a tank of gas, not to mention people with small businesses like myself” said Richard Stephenson, a Kingston business owner.

Oil and gas prices are clocking all-timehigh numbers. On average, oil is sold for $105 per barrel, while the national average for gas in the United States is $4.43 per gallon. As reported by NBC San Diego, the recent spike in the price of oil is not a record high. The record high was set in June 2008 when oil topped over $140 per barrel. Although the 2022 high in crude oil prices never hit the record set in 2008, gas prices have surpassed what was seen in 2008. The U.S. and its European allies are providing assistance to Ukraine and have deployed sanctions and other measures to inflict economic pain on the Russian leader. While Mr. Putin has acknowledged the economic impact on Russia, he has given no indication that he would bow to pressure to end the war. Talks between the two sides have failed to yield any improvement.



By Amoy Harriott


According to a 2021 Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, Jamaica took a major hit on the economic scale as there was a decline in foreign exchange inflows, the Jamaican dollar depreciated, tourism declined by around 70%, the unemployment rate spiked, inflation went up, among other issues. However, in March of this year, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the withdrawal of all measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA). This move saw the slow reintroduction of normalcy to the operation of most, if not all, business institutions. Since the start of the new decade, the world has been dominated by this unprecedented medical emergency that forced healthcare systems to strengthen its capacity - the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While hospitals, emergency units and all other healthcare services found themselves over-pressurized and working twice, if not thrice as much as they ever had to, the economy slowly deteriorated. However, after over two years of suffering a big blow, many businesses are now clawing their way toward recovery. At the height of the pandemic, many businesses faced muted demand, new customer expectations, and operational challenges due to the health and safety restrictions implemented by the government. This undoubtedly led to a decline in sales for many businesses.

While businesses are now allowed longer opening hours and fewer restrictions that would otherwise limit the number of customers allowed in buildings, recovery is a process that is unlikely to happen in a few days or weeks; recovery will take time. According to Renee Henny, Chief Executive Officer of skincare company Organic Beauty, many businesses will take a longer time to recover than others, while some may never recover at all. “The fact is that the pandemic really caused a big hit. You’ll find that many businesses came into the COVID-19 crisis with low financial resilience, so after suffering such a major hit for over two years, it is highly unlikely they’ll ever be able to reopen. Also, remember that no one was prepared for the pandemic, it just happened, so many business owners didn’t have certain contingencies in place to cushion the effects, so here we are,” Henny said.

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Navigating the new normal requires significant changes in operating models for all businesses. Some have innovated rapidly to adapt to the new environment. However, Danielle Peddie, a small business owner in Kingston, said that for many micro-businesses, adopting new technology will require significant changes. “We know that a lot of businesses now have to implement new ways of doing things. For example, you find that many of them allow all their services to be available online. While we may want to think this shift is easy, some smaller businesses can’t really afford to make such a big shift in a fast time, so they have to do things in phases, which makes the recovery process a lot longer,” she said.

“People are seeing where the cases are going down, so you find that they’re not so scared anymore about moving around, and as you know, the more people move around, the more they’re going to come in the store and buy items,” Morrison said. As at May 6, 2022, Jamaica recorded 147 new cases, pushing the total number of confirmed cases to 190,934. Of that number, 1,162 are active cases. The country’s positivity rate now stands at 18.4%. .

While the road to recovery looks rather long and rocky for some business owners, others are optimistic. Gerald Morrison, Clarendon hardware store owner, explained that the decline in positive cases in the island has resulted in a decrease in customer fears which in turn boosts sales.

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Stories are often told about tertiary students who pursue dual roles of student and worker, but how often do you hear about employed, secondary school students? They’re in high school, but also working full time jobs. Since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, many families in Manchester have been pushed to the brink of poverty, forcing some adolescents – high school students – to seek employment as a means of helping their families make two ends meet. Some of these students consequently became the sole breadwinner for their families. Because classes were operating in a virtual atmosphere, the students were allotted the flexibility to work while attending classes, allowing them to easily manage both responsibilities. However, now that classes have resumed face-to-face learning, they are struggling to balance both school and work. One such institution that has reported this occurrence is the Mile Gully High School in Manchester.

The school’s principal, Christopher Tyme, revealed earlier this month that the administration was struggling to contact a number of students who did not show up for classes when school resumed face-to-face. He later discovered that a number of them were out of school because they were engaged in employment. “We were having mock exams for the city and guilds and a few of our children were absent because they were working, and so we had to go after them with the intention of bringing them back in [school] to have those exams done,” Tyme said. The principal noted that although the occurrence is outside of the norm, his administration has made efforts to accommodate the working students as they are aware of the financial dilemma they endure. “We’re trying to facilitate them because we are aware of the context in which they are living and if you cut off that income it could spell detriment for the family. Even though they’re working on and off, we don’t want them to be totally disengaged. We want them to at least

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alright. Bout a month after that, the same owner set me up with a job in a supermarket in Mandeville, and a it buy food put on the table more while,” he said. While youth productivity and workmanship is not condemned, the biggest concern is whether or not these students’ education is being negatively affected when they are engaged in employment from such a young age. PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TYME

at the end of the year say they have two, three, four subjects. They can’t work and earn properly if they’re not qualified,” he said. There is no doubt that maneuvering both responsibilities can be rather tedious. One could argue that it helps to build mental fortitude and create even more efficient timemanagement skills. However, the process may also be challenging as both require 100 percent focus.

“If me a tell the truth, a whole heap a time me miss class ‘cause me deh work. More while me teacher dem call me and a ask what happen. The way how me see things is that sometimes you just affi do what you affi do,” Okeno said. Like Okeno, sixth form student Ricardo Powell said he has secured a job with which he is able to help offset the expenses his family needs to cover. “A six a we live and everybody affi eat. Before my father dead a one thing him teach all a we is that you never too young fi be a man, so from me young, me always a hustle, always a look a way fi make things better fi me and my family,” the 18-year-old said.

Grade 11 student, Okeno Gayle is from a family of three – his grandfather, his younger brother and himself. Before COVID-19 hit the island, his grandfather farmed in the fields of Somerset then sold ground provisions in the Mandeville market. This was the family’s primary source of provision. However, since the 62-year-old farmer contracted the virus, he said, he has not entirely recovered from it, as he is now unable to work as much as he used to. Because of this, Okeno had to take on the responsibilities of provider of the household. “First me start work in a this shop in my area. More while the owner just call me fi help lift up some a the goods every time him go buy new stock. The money neva much, but it did

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His older brother, Shevauni Powell, expressed his satisfaction with his brother’s decision to find a job and help pay the bills. However, he said, he has made every effort to encourage him to stay in school. “I personally don’t want him drop out or anything like that. A bright boy, him brighter than even me right now. I try to encourage him to still do every assignment and exam and be present as much as possible. I want the best for him at the end of the day,” the older brother said.


Of the 279 students who had not been engaged in classes at Mile Gully high since the closure of schools in March 2020, only eight are said to not be accounted for. A 2020 study by UNICEF Jamaica found that approximately 80% of households suffered a reduction in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, 46% of households lost income altogether, with significantly greater loss (49%) for households in the lower socioeconomic bracket.

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Higher learning out of reach for many Jamaicans

By Tia Osbourne

CENTRAL JAMAICA FEATURE There is such a recurring theme of hardships around paying tuition that it has become almost a rite of passage. The issue has also become very publicized by TV talk shows such as ‘Profile’ and ‘The Alrick Show’. Many guests on those shows tell of the great difficulties of completing their studies and those stories are repeated again and again.

It's another Friday afternoon and the campus is slowing down as the work week comes to a close at Northern Caribbean University (NCU). The trees’ soft sway in the wind can be heard as the Seventh-day Adventist institution approaches the Sabbath. As the final vehicle leaves the upper campus, student worker Oshane Wright makes his way with his mop and bucket trekking to the Admissions block to do his final janitorial rounds. NCU has admitted thousands of students from Central Jamaica, the island and even across the world. The halls have seen the faces of people of different races, social and economic backgrounds. However, many students like 23 year old Oshane Wright may not have the financial security of pursuing education at a school that can charge upwards of a million dollars before the end of second year (sophomore), without tremendous difficulty. “I knew when I thought of starting NCU that it was just me and God. My parents would love to help but they can't, they don't have it,’ said Wright.

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“I appreciate hard work and I have faith that God will provide but university is not for the weak and the difficulty I face day to day could break the strongest spirit,” said Wright the theology major. Northern Caribbean University is the second university to be accredited by the University Council of Jamaica. The tuition on average is a little more than government institutions since it is privately operated. Privately owned institutions are not subsidized and so students are covering a bigger cost. “I have never paid less than $200, 000.00 any semester since I have been here and it never gets any easier to find semester after semester and that sometimes frustrates me because I think I am doing everything I can,” said Wright. The theology major has been working since the start of his studies on campus. Thankfully, the university has a work-study program that offers jobs in many of the school’s departments to help students to earn and pay for studies. Whilst this has helped many students it does have its own shortcomings.

CENTRAL JAMAICA FEATURE “Because of my time working, I have been promoted to senior student worker so I have gotten a slight increase. But it’s still hard to find the entire tuition despite working 25hrs a week and getting 35-40, 000,” said the budding theologian. NCU has announced an increase in tuition fees once again in the last 4 years and students like Wright are clenching tighter to the hope of finishing. One other senior student Kayon Nesbeth shared her thoughts on the 3-6% increase on tuition fees. “I honestly couldn't believe it could get worse. I am almost finished so I’m happy to complete this stage of my life but I can't help but feel devastated for those that are coming up because 16 credits this semester is about $230,000 could be $280,000 this august,’ said hopeful entrepreneur. The tuition fee for each department at the institution is posted on the NCU website with Business studies being least inexpensive at $273,000. Many students argue that they are paying for certain amenities that are not applicable, especially since the last 30months since the Covd-19 pandemic. “Quite a bit of the things I am paying for I do not use especially during Covid-19 but I was still paying for even in Covid-19. I have friends who still pay for health insurance through the school even though they have made it clear that they have their personal health card,” said Wright.

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A member of staff who wishes to remain nameless was asked about the grounds for the significant increase in so many departments despite students learning remotely. “Tuition fees are tied to the economies in which they exist, but the institution is trying its best to navigate the harsh economic climate with least impact to students but we can’t always help it. [However] I really can’t imagine how this news will land with some that already can’t find it,” said the young worker. Approximately 52 thousand students are enrolled in tertiary institutions across the island seeking to realize their dreams of promising careers. Of that number, an overwhelming percentage are either funded by working, student loans with only a very small minority having the luxury of full parental help. An online petition has been started by an anonymous student to get 1500 signatures to defend the stance that the administration are ‘Scammers in Suits.’ The target has not been reached yet but many students like Oshane and Kayon are feeling the pinch of pursuing tertiary education because of the exorbitant fees.


How to cook 'Cheesy Raisin Callaloo' with Trivell Thompson


Jodi-Ann Thomas-Thompson, a multifaceted individual who has her own unique way of doing just about everything takes on a new adventure as she makes her famous “Cheesy Raisin Callaloo”.

Today, Thompson makes her first ever attempt at her new “cheesy raisin callaloo”. She said she is excited to share the recipe with others and hopes that they will find it as delicious as she did.

Thompson currently resides in Stettin, Trelawny but is originally from Cedar Grove District, Mandeville, Manchester. She is a wife and mother and is known throughout her community for her delicious desserts. Inspired by her mother Sandra Thomas from a young age, she considers the kitchen to be her sanctuary.

“The process of making my cheesy raisin callaloo is very simple. The first step is to get all the ingredients, these include; Callaloo Mozzarella cheese Tastee cheese Raisin Salt Butter Maggie season Milk Water

“Once my mom said it was okay to be in the kitchen, that's where all my experimenting began. I was just always trying something new, and from there to now it was just history,” she said.

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TO-DO FEATURE Thompson said the first person to try her cheesy raisin callaloo was her mother, and she loved it. Thomas said her daughter was always trying different dishes growing up and it wasn't always pleasant but she has improved on the skill. “Jodi is just always doing something different in the kitchen. If I’m being honest, I was skeptical to try the dish at first, but after I did I have to say I was not disappointed,” the mother said. Once I have all my ingredients, I get started. First: I wash and strip the callaloo. Cut Callaloo to prefered size and place in the pot. Tip a little water and add butter, salt, and maggie season. Cover the pot and allow the Callaloo to steam. After Callaloo is steamed, turn the stove to low heat. Add milk and and tastee cheese to the callaloo Allow the cheese to melt a little, when it starts thickening, turn off the stove. Add the raisins, and add the mozzarella cheese as the topping and bake for ten minutes. After it finishes, just enjoy it!” she said.

Jodi-Ann said she loves her mother dearly but she needed a second opinion on her new ‘cheesy raisin callaloo’ so she wanted more people to try it. Dudjay Thompson, Jodi-Ann’s brother-inlaw, said he didn't like her new dish. “I have tried most of the different dishes that Jo did and I loved them, however, this one just wasn't for me, maybe it’s because I don't like callaloo but I just didn't like it,” he said. Recardo Dennis, a friend of Dudjay also tried the dish, but he had a different perspective. “Listen, when me try the food, it did shot! The raisin have a likkle salt taste to it inna the callaloo. Me nuh know how she dweet but it did bad, me like it,” he said. Thompson said she has no intention of cooking on a professional level, as her passion does not lie in culinary arts. However, she enjoys cooking for her family and friends. - 33 -

Personality Corner

Let's Meet This Week's Personalities...


The Andrea Forthridge Story By Trivell Thompson

When you were a child, did you ever dream of becoming a doctor? If you did, do you remember what it was like helping people, saving lives, and basically being branded as an everyday hero? What if you found out you can have that same feeling working with medical personnel? Sometimes the outline we have for achieving our dreams isn't always what God has in store for us. Andrea Forthridge, a cleaner at her community hospital, says she is living her dream but in a whole different way than she had imagined. Forthridge grew up in a small community with her parents Caren and Rolando Forthridge. Most of her childhood was spent trying to help her parents provide a meal for the next day. “ It wasn't easy, but God is good and I never went to my bed hungry,” she said. Sadly, struggling is one of the daily challenges we face as a people. However, Forthridge said her struggles weren’t something she talked about because she didn't want to normalize it. “I know how it sounds, but I didn't want to unconsciously use it as an excuse as to why I'm not where I am in life, so I just never talk about it,” she said.

She always dreamt of becoming a doctor because she wanted to help her parents, but being a doctor meant paying to go to school - a venture she wasn’t able to afford. She later decided to put her dream on hold until she could afford it. Forthridge started working at her community hospital at the age of 18 because she wanted to help her parents with their finances. After high school, she wasn't able to continue her studies. She said, at first, she found working as a cleaner revolting because of the blood. For the first few weeks, it made her sick, but she continued. In March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Jamaica, things took a turn for her. “When the pandemic reached Jamaica I actually thought I would lose my job. I was surprised when I was one of the few cleaners who got to stay. Though I was surprised, I wasn't exactly happy because I was fearful for my life,” she said. Forthridge said she was happy she still had a source of income, but it was still intimidating. She said one day she was asked to clean the operating room after surgery. She conditioned her mind, knowing what to expect, and went in headon.

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What she encountered wasn’t what she expected. Instead of all the blood and all the dirty used equipment that she was used to, it was partially cleaned and she mostly just had to sanitize. She said she thought nothing of it at first, but then it started happening more frequently and she blamed it on the fact that they had fewer working personnel in the hospital. She said she was told that she had to be in patients’ rooms to constantly sanitize and sometimes a doctor might be in attendance. “I was properly protected, they had me in overalls, gloves, mask and my hair was covered and I went in with my sanitizer ready to work,” she said. For the first few days it was normal and no doctor was in attendance while she was there. Then, on one occasion, she said she was sanitizing a patient's room when a doctor walked in and started talking to the patient. “I watched him as he went doing his checks and everything, from time to time he would ask questions and continue his work. Being able to stand there and watch made me feel incredible. I know it’s not much but it was everything for me,” she said.

“Though my dream is still so far away, this pandemic brought it closer to me. I know what a tourniquet is, a stethoscope, an otoscope, an ophthalmoscope, a patella hammer for checking reflexes and so many other things and I'm grateful. It’s really the little things for me,” she said. Going forward, Forthridge said when the doctor used different equipment, he would tell her what it is, what it's used for and why they used it. She said it was a learning experience and she never caught the disease, so in her opinion, she saw the positive side of the COVID-19 virus. Forthridge said she has been saving to pursue her dream and she intends to do so no matter what challenges may arise. She aspires to start her studies here in Jamaica before transitioning to Cuba as she continues to appreciate the little things.

She said that was just the start of it for her. Even though everyone said the covid 19 pandemic was the worst thing to happen, for her it felt like the best thing.

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The Fitroy Cleveland Story By Tia Osbourne

It’s another bustling Friday in the sweltering heat in Jamaica's old capital, Spanish Town. Vehicles and pedestrians line the streets as vendors carts chump smoke from selling food, drinks or clothes. But tucked in the middle of the busy capital, is a small cart with a speaker atop. It’s blasting the benefits of the natural herbs. Fitroy Cleveland is a Westmoreland native who moved to St. Catherine over 52 years ago, to build his business. The popular natural herbalist was never formally taught but rather finds his knowledge in another source. "From when I was a boy and turn rasta, people used to say [I have] healing hands. I never go school but my [concoctions gave] me customers coming for over 30 years," he said. The now 73 year-old has spent almost six decades in natural herb healing and remedial beverages for over 25 different ailments and complaints. "We couldn't afford school in those days but from I realized I had the gift [of healing] I read, mix and blend plants to try find what works for what sickness," he said.

Jah Nigh, as he is fondly called, may not have formal training but was able to assist in making the popular drink "Baba roots" and another popular one called "Brenga" that has especially helped women with crippling menstrual cycles. "This natural healing thing [has also] opened doors for me to meet and greet others like Muta Barukka and other known personalities to publicize my drinks," he said. While Cleveland knows he is loved, he was still bracing for impact as the country could return to quarantine. But he has continued reading his plant books, trying to find healing for illnesses. "I thought my little business would stall in times like these but [it is] in them time here that people hunting me down to see what I have for the virus," he said. Fortunately, the Rastafarian was proactive and started his research from he first heard about the lockdowns in China. "I wasn't thinking about [Corona] getting here but by getting a big headstart from before really helped me to help the people," he said. While the Corona Virus may have many feeling defenseless, this renowned Spanish town vendor says it's about fortifying yourself from inside and doubling up on certain vitamins religiously.

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Cleveland’s small cart shop is not an indicator of his impact and presence in helping people in and around the town, with a wide range of complaints. He may be years over legal retirement but he continues to serve his community helping persons to live more natural, organic lives through his little practice of herbal healing.

"Nothing don't work without consistency, I tell my buyers all the time that the products won't always work overnight so they need to repeat," he said. For Corona he recommends a blend of leaf of life, orange peel and a secret ingredient he tightly locked as the key to minimizing mucus build-up. "I've helped many with the virus or similar to recover in days just by having it in the mornings," said Cleveland. Cleveland’s small cart shop is not an indicator of his impact and presence in helping people in and around the town, with a wide range of complaints. He may be years over legal retirement but he continues to serve his community helping persons to live more natural, organic lives through his little practice of herbal healing.

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