Thursday, 20 October 2016

GOOD NEWS: Fi Wi Jamaica empowering vulnerable citizens + Is Spanish our future second language?

THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE: Could Spanish be officially declared a second language in Jamaica one day? At a recent forum put on by the University of the West Indies (UWI), in partnership with the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) – hosted by Ambassador Richard Bernal at UWI’s Mona-based regional headquarters – that was among the issues discussed at length, in addition to strategies for increasing fluency in Spanish and English throughout the region via enhanced projects. Ambassador José Tomas Ares (Dominican Republic), Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, expressed his support for the ideas put on the table, noting that with so many Spanish-speaking countries in close proximity to Jamaica, Spanish was “a natural choice as a second language.” GRULAC Chairman and Chilean Ambassador to Jamaica, Eduardo Bonilla, concurred, noting that there was already “considerable exchange between Jamaica and Spanish-speaking countries and increased activity would benefit both business and cultural relationships.”

GET UP, STAND UP: Given the myriad social ills Jamaicans have to grapple with daily, we can never have too many social-intervention groups fighting the good fight. Enter Fi Wi Jamaica, a USAID-funded initiative from the University of Technology (UTech) in collaboration with the Avasant Foundation. According to its leaders, Fi Wi Jamaica is a national social-intervention group seeking to expand a window of opportunity for the protection and promotion of the human rights of society’s most targeted, socially excluded and vulnerable members. The chief aim, they say, is to empower these individuals through social, cultural and economic interventions that strengthen advocacy for their respect, dignity and freedom. Get involved with their cause! Learn more about Fi Wi Jamaica, which recently introduced their #BigUpJamaica campaign, at

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