This is an excerpt of Press Release for your benefit.
Facilitators For a Better Jamaica (FFBJ) is presently represented in Jamaica by Sylbourne Sydial and Robin Foster at Jamaica Diaspora Forum. There were around 30 delegates from UK and around 10 from Canada plus representatives of the Jamaican Community.
We had contributions from Dr Henley Morgan of Agency for Inner-city Renewal who spoke about his work in Trench Town and gave us an over view of how Garrisons are created and how they can be transformed. This inspired members so much that there are plans underway for a tour of couple inner-city communities including Tivoli Gardens. Dr Howard Haughton who is a financial risk specialist gave us a real and practical overview of conducting business in Jamaica and the major opportunities that exist. Plus there was the humorous presentation from the Jamaica Tourist board through Horace Phillips and supported by Nicole Haughton, Senior Assistant to the Director of Tourism where he highlighted “Experience Jamaica showing Incredible Vacation Values at Home with savings of up to 50% or more.
There was no representation from the Jamaican Government not even a spokesperson and the reason they gave was that because the conference was postponed they felt it would send the wrong signal to those that did not attend after it was postponed that the Government is endorsing this one. Of course members were clearly not impressed by such an explanation and it was felt that this was somewhat disrespectful. Earl Jarrett was asked to convey such message to the Government. But, on the other hand many saw this as positive and a blessing in disguise as FFBJ is of the held view that there should be a separation of the Jamaica Diaspora and successive Governments and that Govt should really be a facilitating arm as all play a key role in this strategic partnership.
FFBJ also proposed that future Diaspora Conference/ Convention should be in partnership with at least 100 small private sector companies inclusive of Civic Organisations to really stimulate and build the movement and to take it away from somehow going down the same route as someone said like the creation of an Elitist Garrison.
It is clear that what happened is that the people went ahead and lead the way but we must give credit to Earl Jarrett JN who is Planning Committee Chairman and main sponsor of which they must be commended and Sunset Jamaica Grande for facilitating the venue.
FFBJ was mandated to attend this conference by its supporters and friends and will be reporting back to them in the UK exactly as how it transpired. There are plans underway to have a report event in London during July ahead of 2010 Jamaica Independence Anniversary. Then eventually report to our constituents and friends in Jamaica as we seek to widen the dragnet to inspire a nation where the people’s voice will be clear, loud and not silence.
We aim to see a new era for Diaspora Leadership.