Come 2020, ten years to the year when the Jamaican Government has pledged to make the country the place to live, work and raise families by 2030, under the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), Chairman of the Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force (JDTEF) Leo Gilling, is spearheading a revolutionary concept to feed into that objective; with the view to enhancing its appeal and efficacy of the GOJs objectives.
In an exclusive interview with Ocean News Network (ONN), Gilling indicated that the “WEEK OF ACTION” as the effort is called, is slated to begin in the first week of June 2020.
He explained that the initiative will be facilitated by the Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Network (JDTAN).
Taking the form of a task force, the Chairman noted that the model is set to cover various professional sectors, specifically starting with 15.
He said, the multiple task force concept, will be project & action oriented vehicles.
These are being plotted to be simpler in operation than traditional organizations.
In this format there will be no sitting officials and financial transactions are dealt with by the fiscal sponsors, who are allowed on board.
The entire movement will see collaboration between the public and private sectors, in addition to the skills, expertise and talents of the Diaspora.
Gilling also indicated that JDTAN is formally aligned with Jamaica’s Vision 2030, and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When asked how this endeavor would benefit Jamaicans, specifically those living, working and raising families in Jamaica, Gilling stated that it was too early in the developmental stage to tell.
Notwithstanding, the Diaspora based game changer is extremely optimistic, noting, “we have nine months to work through exactly. We are organizing the new structure. We will do needs assessment, meet with partners, then design how we will structure the week of action”.
In addition he said, “for certain anything we do will be aligned with the needs assessed, SDGs, and the development goals of Jamaica.”
Gilling founded and chaired the JDTEF from 2013 to present. JDTEF has as its mission, the formation of strategic partnerships and alliances in support of the Education Sector in Jamaica.
The partnerships include Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), the Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA), the National Education Trust (NET) and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).
JDTEF is also partners with US institutions, such as Loma Linda University, Broward College, Broward Schools and the City of Miramar.
Recent initiatives undertaken by the JDTEF include the 4th Advancement in Education Summit 2019, as well as facilitating relationship between Broward College in Florida and the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA).
The JDTEF Chairman is pleased with the results he has seen thus far.
He said, “I have to tell you that I am passionate about everything I am engaged in”. He added, “for 6 straight years I have led the task force because it gives me pleasure to help empower others”.
Further, “it is a very expensive engagement, but I get more energy day after day as I feel that there is an opportunity to further the work. All the projects are special but more special are the people who we work with”.
The 4th Advancement Summit 2019
Chairman of the JDTEF Leo Gilling