Ambassador Marks gave special recognition to Dr. Karren Dunkley and the members of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council, the National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO) and Ms. Beverly Nichols for their exceptional initiative and support for six-hour telethon.
The event was viewed by over a hundred thousand persons worldwide and raised some JA$50 million which will be used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment, testing kits, ventilators and other equipment needed to strengthen the frontline workers in the island’s health system.
The Jamaican Ambassador said with just ten days of planning, the global diaspora team was able to successfully execute the event under the leadership of Entertainment and Culture Minister, the Hon. Olivia Grange, who also coordinated the participation of a stellar line-up of the country’s most popular artistes and personalities.
Minister Grange told parliament that “The idea of a telethon was born out of conversations with our Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks; our Consul General in New York, Alsion Wilson; and our Consul General in Miami, Oliver Mair. They had received several inquiries from members of our Diaspora who wanted an avenue to support Jamaica in the covid-19 fight. Our diaspora reached out after seeing how the virus had affected first world countries with stronger health systems than Jamaica.”
The island’s culture and entertainment minister advised her parliamentary colleagues that “Jamaica doesn’t have money to help other nations to fight COVID-19. Jamaica doesn’t have equipment to share with other nations in need; Jamaica doesn’t have a brigade of health professionals to send overseas to help. But Jamaica has tremendous talent and a music that has been and continues to be a balm in times of trouble.
"Our Reggae music evolved as our response to the challenges of years of oppression. Throughout its history, Reggae has been anthems of resilience, substance and identity, peace and love, not only for us Jamaicans, but also for many people across the world, ”she said.
The Minister emphasized that the objective of “Telethon Jamaica: Together We Stand”, was not only to receive but to also give back to hurting world… to use Reggae music to provide comfort and hope; not only to Jamaica and our Diaspora, but also to the world.
“We are grateful for the support from Jamaicans at home and abroad as well as friends of Jamaica who responded to this telethon. Thanks to their kind donations we are now able to contribute over J$50 million dollars ($50,261,320.00) towards procuring the personal protective equipment for our frontline workers,” Minister Grange told parliament.
Members of the diaspora and friends of Jamaica can continue to view the telethon on-line as the portal will be open until the end of April 2020 for persons to watch the concert and to make donations at www.jatogetherwestand.com.
- Countries: Jamaica