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Christian Diaspora Conference opens tomorrow

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

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THE second Jamaica Christian Diaspora Conference, put on by the Christian Diaspora Alliances and Operation Save Jamaica, will be held tomorrow and Thursday at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Under the theme, 'Working together to change the Caribbean narrative', the conference aims to harness the energy of the local and diaspora communities to mobilise the church, raise resources and strategically impact society. The conference, said organisers, also hopes to give birth to a wider movement by inspiring other Caribbean islands to engage more strategically with their diaspora and develop links with African partners to identify synergies and create opportunities across countries.

Chairman of Operation Save Jamaica Bruce Fletcher explained that the conference represents “a unique occasion to share perspectives and innovative solutions to problems common to local, diaspora and African communities.

“The conference connects and engages citizens, leaders, experts, the business community, government officials, and NGOs to build links for better futures, especially for our under-resourced communities,” he said.

The conference will showcase the work of the Integrity Children's Fund (ICF), a United States-based charity organisation, that has been funding schools located in Trench Town, Kingston, St James, and Trelawny. To date, the ICF, has provided more than US$700,000 in funding and has impacted the lives of over 4,500 at-risk students in Jamaica.

Founded in 2002, with a mission to support the educational needs of youth living in under-resourced communities, the organisation has partnered with local schools to inspire hope through quality education.

President and co-founder of ICF, Karl Chambers, a Jamaican who resides in Atlanta, believes illiteracy limits the ability of at-risk teenagers to use logical reasoning skills and is the primary reason that some of them turn to a life of crime.

The ICF, through its funding and strategic initiatives, hopes to continue fostering quality educational environments, staffed by component teachers, where young adults can thrive and feel supported as they progress towards academic achievement as well as spiritual, emotional and social development.

Over the next decade, through operational integrity, consistent outreach, business partnerships and a commitment to measuring success, ICF plans to broaden its support to schools across the island of Jamaica and inspire a global movement to eradicate illiteracy in Jamaican youth.

Speakers at the conference include Professor Rosalea Hamilton, LASCO Chin Foundation, Professor Emeritus Maureen Werner-Lewis, and Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey.

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