Children who draw their pain

Children who feel they have to kill; children mourning family; and children who just want to escape… Spent some time recently with volunteer Peace Management Initiative (PMI) social workers who do art therapy for children suffering from violence and abuse. Equal parts depressing and inspiring seeing them give up their time helping children come to terms with what they’re living through.

Posted on the UNICEF Jamaica blog: Children who draw their pain

Startups, Visit Jamaica

One/One Cacao: Airbnb promoting downtown Kingston chocolate tour

Airbnb users from across the world are now able to get a real taste of Jamaica, thanks to Nick Davis of gourmet local chocolate company One/One Cacao, one of a handful of Jamaican ‘experiences’ that the online accommodation marketplace is now promoting, globally.

An unlikely Willy Wonka, Nick has been a friend of mine from when were both journalists, and he’s still the BBC’s Caribbean Correspondent. But sitting on my sofa he’s doesn’t have a clue how many tourists Airbnb will be sending his way to “Create custom bars with a chocolatier”. Given that Airbnb has 150 million users, it could be a few.

“Slightly bricking it,” he shrugs.

Showing tourists the real Jamaica

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My most challenging project in life

About two years ago I was in the hospital for the birth of my son when I got a call from UNICEF asking if I would consult for them. “YES!” was the only reply.

Having donated to UNICEF in the past, and now a dad, the timing and the opportunity couldn’t have been better, not least because of the on-the-job training it provides me for my most challenging client yet. He turns two this December.

The first 1,000 days have a profound effect on the rest of our child’s life. Meanwhile as first-time parents fumbling along, that’s me, we are handed a onetime chance to sleeplessly and selflessly shape this expanding ball of pure human energy. Continue reading

Education, Social Media

Get certified by the sites you need: Facebook, Google, Hootsuite etc.

google squared

If you’re serious about a career in social media and digital marketing it’s essential to get quality training you won’t find get from your 9-5. Social networks and all digital platforms are continuously updating and we need to how to use them, how others are interacting with them, and of course in the local context*.

Now that they’ve become big business, and have a financial incentive to do so, most social networks offer certified courses available online on a free, freemium or premium basis. Some like Google, Hootsuite and Hubspot have been doing this for a while, but now they’re joined by Facebook (inclusive of Instagram) and Twitter.

As a trainer myself I’ve become a bit of a junkie for courses. Fortunately, some of the courses are quite short or cover a broad area – for those who don’t want to go too deep, too detailed; or at least not yet. Regardless, you’ve got a lot of choice.

Here you go… Continue reading