Thursday, November 27, 2014

St. George's College Wins the Walker Cup 3-2 in a Bruising Final

By Lloyd Tenn

St. George's College Wins the Walker Cup 3-2 in a Bruising Final


St. George's College beat a determined Jamaica College by 3-2. It took a superb first half performance with Shevon Stewart, Gregory Messam Jr. and Amoy Brown scoring all goals within 25 minutes of the first half. The conditions would change dramatically as heavy rain came down and turned the turf into mud and pools of water.

In the second half, with the field a disaster, STGC took a more defensive posture while Jamaica College pressed to get a foothold on the game. With 10 or minutes into the second half, the Jamaica College midfielder sprinted down the left wing and scored while being pressed all the way by a STGC defender Prawl. It really was a great goal. Shortly after this, the Dark Blues would get a penalty when a JC player was brought down in the area. Flemming scored from the penalty spot. As the game progressed, the game got very tense and the tackles came in hard,crunching and in rapid succession. JC would net but it was deemed offside. They would also net later on but by the hand. The JC striker was given a yellow card for this.

Later on, Flemming would punch defender Delano Brooks in the mouth. With goalie Irving charging to protest, it looked like he was about to take things into his hands. Good sense prevailed in the end.

As the game came into the last 10 minutes, Amoy Brown would get a great chance to put the game away when he broke through the defense and with the goalie only to beat, went for power and to the side of the goal.

In the last few minutes, we actually took the initiative away from JC and started to keep the ball in the JC half.

It was a tough win. Goalie Cordell Irving had a fantastic game and the back line stood firm under intense pressure. Shevon Stewart also played well. Coach Bell made a good tactical move with Alex Marshall starting and Akeem Prawl, usually a midfielder playing the right back. JC's Flemming wasn't a major factor as we managed to keep him by and large quiet.


Denis O'Brien on Haiti's progress - from Huffington Post

Denis O’Brien at opening of Digicel-sponsored 150th School in Haiti - Lowrie-Chin photo

Denis O’Brien – Huffington Post – 6 Nov 2014
Last month global CEOs, heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates, heads of foundations and NGOs, and major philanthropists gathered in New York for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting to discuss innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. This year, the main priority of CGI's Haiti Action Network -- a group of CGI members which formed in 2008 to address the pressing issues of housing, access to clean water, education and business development -- is to ensure the detailed monitoring of people's promises and commitments to the CGI to deliver progress and action. Oftentimes it's project management skills that are the missing ingredient in 'giving'. As the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and injured another 300,000 in Port-au-Prince approaches in January, it's especially important that we continue to help Haiti.

With this milestone around the corner, it's important to look back and celebrate the tremendous progress made in recent years, while keeping focus on remaining needs of the country and working to accelerate momentum around these efforts. Perhaps the biggest indicator of progress is spotlighted in a report released this past June by the Haitian Government and the United Nations Development Program. The 2013 Millennium Development Goals Report: Haiti, a New Look, shows how the country has significantly advanced in achieving several targets of the Millennium Development Goals -- eight international development goals established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000 which committed nations to achieve specific goals in terms of poverty, hunger, education, equality, health, sustainability. For instance, Haiti's GDP rose from US$1,548 per capita in 2009 to $1,602 per capita in 2012, with extreme poverty stabilising at 24 per cent in 2012. The country has halved the number of underweight children under age five more than three years ahead of the 2015 deadline. Enrollment rates in primary education nearly doubled (47% in 1993 to nearly 90%), with equal participation of boys and girls. In terms of ongoing relief efforts following the earthquake, 11,000 displaced families have been relocated (more than 1.5 million people were initially without homes).

These numbers show great progress. After all, it's no easy feat not only to rebuild a country and its economy following a natural disaster.. However, there's so much more going on behind these numbers through initiatives in support of Haiti's development. Since the Haiti Action Network was established, private sector partnerships with government and NGOs have raised more than US $430 million for commitments in support for Haiti.

More companies are recognizing the potential the country has as a manufacturing hub given its proximity to the U.S. and its capable workforce. For example, last fall TOMS shoes announced a five-year initiative to invest in manufacturing operations in Haiti. In early 2015, Marriott will open a 175 room hotel in Port-au-Prince. A grant from the USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped fund a partnership between technology companies and Scotiabank leading to the development of TchoTcho, a mobile wallet and digital banking solution. And,the Caracol Industrial Park in the north of the country is attracting tenants like Sae-A, a Korean garment manufacturer and a major supplier of U.S. retailers.

L’Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane - Lowrie-Chin photo
On the education front we're spearheading teacher training programs reaching more than 400 teachers and we have just completed our three year CGI commitment of building 150 schools in time for the start of the new school year this past September. Coming out of this year's CGI, we've committed to enriching the school's resources and enhancing children's educations by expanding our teaching programs and implementing libraries and IT labs. Working on the ground with community members and meeting the children and teachers who are directly impacted by these projects is especially meaningful. In all, approximately 50,000 children attend these new schools each day.

While the country has received significant investments from foreign aid and private partners, more still remains to be done to help the Haitian people create self-sufficient communities. For one, Haiti is currently facing the largest cholera epidemic in the world which has killed more than 8,500 people since the outbreak began in October 2010. According to a 2013 United Nations humanitarian office's country report, the main cause for the persistence of cholera in Haiti is the lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities and poor hygienic practices. Today less than two-thirds of the nation's population has access to clean water. Sean Penn's organization, J/P HRO, is working tirelessly to make strides against this horrific disease (as outlined in a recently published editorial in The Wall Street Journal). What's required is international support with the Haitian government to strengthen the country's healthcare system and develop a better sanitation system. The sooner we can work together on both, the sooner unnecessary deaths can be prevented.

The people of Haiti and all dedicated groups who have committed time and resources to the country in recent years should be proud of the progress made. I'm confident that through ongoing collaboration we'll be able to do even more in order to not only save lives but build the foundation for Haiti's sustained development.

Sunday, November 23, 2014



Grande Savane 1: Over 50,00 children are now getting an education in more comfortable surroundings thanks to the Digicel Foundation's school building initiative in Haiti

Grande Savane 2: The 150th school – the Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane – was officially opened by Digicel Chairman and Patron of the Foundation, Denis O'Brien, School Principal, Isaac Césaire, and Haiti Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Nesmy Manigat

Grande Savane 3: A view of the new school buildings at the Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane

Grande Savane 4: Digicel Chairman and Patron of the Foundation, Denis O'Brien, speaks at the inauguration of the 150th school built in Haiti by the Digicel Foundation


- Over 50,000 children attending schools built by the Digicel Foundation

Thursday 20th November 2014 – Port-au-Prince, Haiti:  The Digicel Foundation yesterday celebrated one of the finest moments in the history of education in Haiti with the opening of its 150th school in the country with the Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Mr. Nesmy Manigat, in attendance.


The 150th school – the Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane – was founded in 2011. Prior to the Digicel Foundation's intervention, the school had been operating in extremely basic facilities which were not conducive to learning. Now, it has brand new buildings that meet modern earthquake and hurricane-resistant standards. The fully-furnished school has nine new classrooms, administrative offices, a playground, sanitary facilities, a computer lab and a library.


Commenting on the inauguration, Digicel Chairman and Patron of the Digicel Foundation, Denis O'Brien said, "This is a proud occasion for the Digicel Foundation as we mark the inauguration of the 150th school built as part of our construction programme which started back in 2007. Today, 50,000 children attend these schools."


He continued: "The development of Haiti and its future relies heavily on the investment made in children today and Digicel remains committed to improving education in Haiti – in partnership with the Ministry of Education. In fact, we are now starting a new two-year programme that will directly and indirectly benefit some 20,000 children. Access will be improved through a construction programme to provide more schools and a reinvestment programme in the existing schools – in addition to providing teacher training for 500 teachers."


Digicel Haiti Foundation Chairwoman, Mrs. Josefa Gauthier, said, "What we are feeling today is comparable to what an athlete feels when they cross the finish line of a marathon. The only difference is that our work is far from complete. We have made a commitment to continue to help improve the quality of education in Haiti and a lot remains to be done. The Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane is a key milestone in our programme to build schools throughout the country and is symbolic of our vision for constant improvement."


Principal of Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane, Isaac Césaire, said: "November 19th 2014 is a day of celebration for our teachers and students who endured every possible calamity due to the disastrous conditions we had in our previous school. There are no words today to express our profound gratitude to the Digicel Foundation. The entire community of Grande Savane is extremely grateful."


To date, the Digicel Foundation has invested over US$30million in its school building project, completing 150 schools and creating more than 10,500 construction jobs. 




Digicel Group is a total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 13 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.


Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the presenting partner of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.


Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.


Visit for more information.




Gillian Power


+1876 470 8601 (Jamaica cell)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Outameni … many issues

Observer photo

by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Observer column published 17 Nov 2014

I think financial commentator Ralston Hyman put in well in a radio interview last Friday: if the National Housing Trust (NHT) wanted guaranteed earnings from the people’s deposits for housing, GOJ treasury bills would have yielded them seven to eight percent.  Otherwise, if they were wondering how best to spend $180 million, why not just put it towards building a few well-needed homes for the less fortunate? 

On the same programme, Dr Damien King expressed the feelings of many:  when an employer puts up three percent and an employee two percent of wages towards a Trust to provide housing, it is hard to accept such an odd decision by the Board of the NHT. Humble workers who pay this deduction every month are barely finding enough for rent, while the thought of qualifying for an NHT housing loan is not even within sight.  How painful it is for them to be hearing that their money, held in trust to improve the housing stock of the nation, is being used to save a failing tourist attraction. 

The irony is that there is a dire need in the tourism industry for decent housing for workers.  Last year I related how we met a generous Canadian couple who were so impressed by a hotel worker that they asked to visit his family to see a bit of ‘the real Jamaica’.  Well, they certainly saw it.  The well-spoken young man and his humble, gracious family lived in little more than a shack with primitive sanitary facilities.  They said they paid for the family to spend a weekend at the resort and were moved to see the man’s child marvel at a flush toilet and a comfortable bed.   

So come now my people in politics.  Why can’t you just confess to the fact that you are playing with the lives of the decent, hardworking people of this country, administration after administration, and do better for the people you say you are so interested in serving?  Where is your conscience?
Dr Michael Abrahams posted a poem on Facebook, calling for a peaceful revolution in our country.   

Here are some of the words:
As we put aside our lenses of orange or green
And visualize our situation in black, gold AND green
Peeling off our party masks
And taking our leaders to task
For this is not about two secondary colours
But about us uniting as sisters and brothers
For a common cause...our survival.

Both of our political parties still have some very decent members and so we are calling on these persons to use some of the measures taken by our Jamaica Constabulary Force, to seek out and clean the corrupt and the greedy out of your midst.  The media must not let this one go … we are losing some of our best people because they are losing their faith in Jamaica.