Social Good

Working with UNICEF: new Jamaica blog + Facebook Free Basics

unicef jamaica connect blog

There’s actually solutions to many of Jamaican society’s problems available right here on the island. I’m blessed that my work with UNICEF provides an opportunity to highlight some of the solutions and not just the problems.

The UNICEF Jamaica blog aims to help the organisation and its partners to generate conversations around successful programmes to benefit children that the news cycle otherwise misses out on. These programmes might be those that reduce violence against children; improve their health or expand their learning potential. Continue reading

Social Good

SEBI: purpose plus profit = transforming Jamaica

Saffrey Brown JN, Foundation General Manager SEBI

Saffrey Brown, JN Foundation General Manager

My wife was looking to buy flowers recently for someone struck down by a life-threatening illness when she found a friendly face and the right gift, a cactus, in Petals n’ Roots, a concession inside the HiLo supermarket in Ligunea, St Andrew. On the face of it this was an average transaction, but Petals n’ Roots is anything but your average business – as your purchase helps provide employment opportunities to persons suffering mental illness and donates to MENSANA, a non-profit founded to meet the needs of such persons and their families.

Petals n’ Roots is one of a growing number of social enterprises – their purpose being to create profits to meet social or environmental needs – a ‘third sector’ of the economy thriving in no small way thanks to the efforts of the JN Foundation and USAID’s Social Enterprise Boost Initiative. Continue reading

Social Good

Giving up guns to give back: Ras Kassa film about peace activist Milton Tomlinson

“Ordained” is how Milton Tomlinson describes a life that has taken him from being the youth holding a gun, to a 43-year-old man who persuades younger versions of himself to put it down and pick up something more positive, namely the rest of their lives.

If his life in a soundbite sounds like a movie script treatment then that’s because it is –
now in the form of Before & After, a short film directed by Ras Kassa for the #KeepChildrenSafe initiative organised by the Office of the Children’s Advocate and UNICEF, supported by TVJ, JNN, The Gleaner and Do Good Jamaica. While the initiative examines ways to protect children from violence, the film re-tells how Tomlinson went from ‘badness’ to Kingston Peace Management Initiative (PMI) volunteer.

“QUIET ON SET!” yells the director as a packed but respectful backyard full of youths concentrate on acting out a confrontational scene from Milton’s childhood. These teenagers, in his home community of Mountain View, are holding up a mirror to Tomlinson’s own past. It is these youths and those of other communities who inspire him to do what has now become a full-time job. Continue reading