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Chairman’s Report    March 2007 – February 2008

This was JAMAICA 2000’s eighth year of activity. The charity was launched in May 1999 and a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations have been involved with Jamaica 2K in UK and Jamaica in a wide range of activities since JAMAICA 2000 was set up:

• organising  very successful, groundbreaking conferences and events in UK and Jamaica
• arranging more than 30 exchange visits between UK and Jamaica
• packing, sending and receiving well over 1,000 computers
• sharing lots of good practice and learning from things that have not gone so well!

This year we have continued to support a range of activities in the UK and in Jamaica:

• Actively engaging with the University of the West Indies and the UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists on the recognition of Jamaican as a language in it’s own right, the living legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

• Supporting the delivery of the first accredited programmes in Jamaican in the UK

• Running a Summer School in Jamaica with the University of the West Indies

• Organising conferences and seminars with City College Birmingham on English for Speakers of Caribbean Languages to address study issues in English

• Producing a pack on ESoCL

• Working with the Post and Telecommunications Department in Kingston to support the set up of their Learning Centre and Crèche

• Supporting the new Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (previously JAMAL) to explore possible ways to develop effective approaches for adult literacy study

• Supporting, with City College Birmingham, Jamaican Community Colleges (especially related to literacy, numeracy and ICT, study support etc.)

• Developing links with Caribbean publishers, through CAPNET and UK’s Bright Books, to increase availability of children’s books for the Caribbean in the UK

Jamaica 2K has continued to work closely with the Post and Telecommunications Department in Kingston, our Co-ordinator in Jamaica Melvah Blake is Director of Human Resources.

Jamaica 2K has also continued to work closely with City College Birmingham where Liz Millman is Director of Faculty: Skills for Life. As Liz is also the Co-ordinator of the College’s Caribbean links this is enabling some of the work started by Jamaica 2K has been taken on in her new role with support from the College. This has mainly focused on piloting the Jamaican Language and Culture course, and working on English Language Support for Caribbean Language Speakers.

March – June 07

Work continued on the development of a resource collection of Caribbean Publications, catalogued by Mary Nelson, and the development of teaching materials undertaken by Natalie Fagan-Brown to support the Jamaican Language and Culture course and to follow up the successful conferences.

The development of a partnership, led by Jamaica 2K, with CAPNET and Bright Books has developed successfully and Bright Books now have an extensive collection of Caribbean publications available on line.

Active Learning have also been supported by Jamaica 2K with advice on the compilation of Caribbean Resource Kits for 3 – 7 and 7 – 11 year olds.

Jamaica 2K was represented at a Reception for the Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller in June held in the West Midlands .

Jamaica 2K was active at the Jamaican Diaspora event held later in June, promoting our work and supporting Bright Books with their excellent collection of Caribbean Children’s Books. However Jamaica 2K’s support for the Birmingham Jamaican Diaspora Education Group has not been very effective this year and this is currently being reviewed.

The first accredited Jamaican Language and Culture Course was successfully completed in June 07. Professor Peter Patrick was the external examiner.

July – September 07

Jamaica 2K organised a “Jamaican Language Summer School” entitled “Writing Jamaican - the Jamaican Way” in July at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston. The event was well supported, 10 supporters of Jamaica 2K found the airfares to enable them to attend, along with local representatives.

Negotiations also took place with one of Jamaica 2K’s long term supporters, Dub Poet Yasus Afari, who agreed to travel to UK to support Jamaica 2K during the UK’s Black History Season, to promote his book “Overstanding Rastafari” and to give a specific focus to Jamaican and “Dread Taak”.

Numerous meetings were held with the organisations we have links with in Jamaica to ensure that contacts are maintained.

October – December 07         Black History Season 2007

Yasus Afari accepted an invitation from Jamaica 2K to support Black History Month activities in the UK. He presented certificates to the successful graduates from the Awarding Body Consortium Jamaican Language and Culture course.

Jamaica 2K also supported City College Birmingham’s Learning Links programme which aimed to bring teachers and students together from Jamaica, the Gambia and the UK to research and present information relating to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and People Trafficking today. This has since become the basis of the Learning Links International Project.

A training day for Supplementary School staff was held in London with Shirley Carby from Carlong, Natalie Fagan-Brown and Yasus Afari all making contributions.

Kelly Magnus author of “Little Lion” worked with the Jamaica 2K Team on the Caribbean Children’s Literature focus.

The work of Jamaica 2K with City College Birmingham was wrapped up with training events for staff on English for Speakers of Caribbean Languages (ESoCL).

January – February 08

Jamaica 2K was represented at the Supplementary Schools Conference in Birmingham – to present information about developments in recognition of Jamaican Language and Culture.

Liz Millman was invited to Jamaica as a guest at Yasus Afari. She was able to attend the annual “Poetry in Motion” event held in Mandeville, Jamaica, as well as having a range of meetings with the organisations that we have links with to ensure that these essential contacts are maintained

Senior Learner of the Year for England.

In the New Year John McAnuff, one of Jamaica 2K’s enthusiastic supporters, who successfully achieved his Awarding Body Consortium qualification in Jamaican Language and Culture and was nominated as an Outstanding Adult Learner NIACE Award. His achievement was recognised with the award of Senior Learner of the Year for England.

John heard about the new Jamaican Language class at City College Birmingham and although he lived in London, this did not deter him from travelling up to Birmingham every Saturday morning for the year long course, never missing a session and usually being the first to arrive at class. John also paid his own way to complete his studies, joining a Jamaican Language Summer School Workshop entitled “Writing Jamaican - the Jamaican Way” held at the University of the West Indies campus in Kingston in July 07. So in addition to travelling more than 3,000 miles over the duration of the course, he added another 12,000 miles and obtained additional certification from the University of the West Indies Jamaican Language Unit.

Jamaica 2K’s support for the Birmingham Jamaican Diaspora Education Group, chaired by Monica Coke, has not been very effective this year and this is currently being reviewed.

The proposed UK Festival of Caribbean Children’s Literature has had to be kept on hold, until we can get funding for this.

Stephen Brooks
Chairman of Jamaica 2K

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