Positively Jamaica 2007

Positively Jamaica

Positively Jamaica 2007 Summer Event

Following this summer’s Positively Jamaica event which took place in the heart of Stratford, East London, in celebration of Jamaica’s 45th Independence Day, the organising committee announced today that the final total of all donations collected as a result of the event was £4233.71, all of which has gone to Christian Aid specifically for their work in Jamaica with JASL (Jamaica AIDS Support for Life); the 3Cs (Children and Community for Change).

Thousands of people from all over the UK came out in their numbers on Saturday 4 August 2007 to enjoy the beautiful sunshine – it was one of the hottest days this summer in more ways than one. Attendees young and old soaked up the positive vibes, the live music, dance, poetry, film and the relaxed atmosphere of people coming together to enjoy all things Jamaican.

Positively Jamaica brought the spirit of Jamaica to the centre of Stratford by recreating a village atmosphere, incorporating a food and art/craft village and an area (Ackee Tree School) for young and old alike to learn about Caribbean history, culture and heritage; while promoting an environment of understanding, culture sharing and togetherness.

The main aim of the event was to provide a platform to raise the awareness about serious health and social issues which are having a significant impact within our community, while also learning more about Christian Aid’s work in Jamaica in relation to HIV/AIDS and the positive difference that they are making together with their partner organisations in Jamaica.

Ken Fuller of Christian Aid speaking on the success event and upon receiving the cheque from Positively Jamaica said: “Positively Jamaica event showed what a church can achieve with highly motivated individuals and inspirational leadership can achieve. A truly marvellous day!! It raised awareness of the epidemic HIV/AIDS and was immensely enjoyable at the same time. Most significantly the money raised, which Christian is pleased to receive, will help in the fight against the spread of HIV in Jamaica. Christian Aid would like to thank St John’s Church, Stratford and the team lead by Maxine Webster for delivering such a memorable and richly rewarding event.”

Positively Jamaica and St. John’s Church, Stratford is proud to continue supporting Christian Aid in their work to break down the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

The Caribbean has the second highest HIV-infection rate after sub-Saharan Africa. HIV-related illness claimed an estimated 24,000 lives across the region last year and is the leading cause of death amongst 15 to 44-year-olds. There are 300,000 people living with HIV in the region. In Jamaica, 22,000 people are HIV-positive. HIV is still heavily stigmatised.

JASL works with sex workers in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston, offering them free health advice, condoms and a vital support network. Christian Aid funds 190 partners working on HIV projects in 40 countries. These partners work to educate people on how to prevent the spread of HIV; to breakdown barriers which HIV has created between people and in communities; to care for those living with HIV and for children orphaned by AIDS.