Positively Jamaica

Positively Jamaica - Press Release 2


Positively Jamaica - Fundraising with a Difference

Event date: Saturday 4 August 2007

Where: St. John's Churchyard, Stratford

Duration: 12 noon to 7pm

On Saturday 4 August, the spirit of Jamaica will transform the heart of Stratford to mark the island's 45th year of Independence.

It will be a celebration of all things Jamaican! Live performances include Nereus Joseph and Delroy Pinnock - both backed by the Ruff Cut Band; The Mad Squad Dancers and plus a special guest appearance from Britain's premier female soul artist Beverley Knight MBE, three times MOBO award winner as well as Mercury and Brit award nominee.

Visitors will be able to sample traditional Jamaican food and drinks from the food village, and browse the craft village to purchase books, CDs, handmade crafts, gifts and art. Children and young people will have the opportunity to sign up for Jamaican history and culture lessons and storytelling under the Ackee Tree. There will also be a Spoken Word tent where people of all ages can use their word skills to create poetry.

For film lovers, there will be Jamaican movie screenings throughout the day within the Jamaica Zone.

Positively Jamaica is more than just a day of fun. The event also aims to act as a platform for health promotion by raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, diabetes and healthy living through some of the activities that will take place on the day.

Positively Jamaica will be hosted by St. John's Church, Stratford, in conjunction with Christian Aid. All monies raised will go towards Christian Aid's work in Jamaica with JASL (Jamaica AIDS Support for Life) and the 3Cs (Children and Community for Change).

Notes to Editor:

  1. Positively Jamaica to be held on Saturday, 4 August 2007 between 12pm and 7pm. Venue: St. John's Churchyard, Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 1NG.

  1. Positively Jamaica is anticipated to attract over 10,000 visitors throughout the day.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


[Quote 1]

Upon hearing about the fantastic work that Christian Aid was doing in Jamaica in partnership with organisations who are providing practical services to those affected and infected with HIV related illnesses I was immediately moved to take action and respond. I believe that Positively Jamaica will be the ideal opportunity to bring together Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans for a day to celebrate all things Jamaican - the vibrant culture and our heritage, especially as the event coincides with the 45th Independence Day, whilst raising essential funds and awareness about health and social issues which have the potential to affect any one of us. We can’t afford to ignore that HIV / AIDS is alive and real in the UK and the Caribbean too. We encourage people to come along to the event to enjoy themselves, soak up the atmosphere and leave having learnt something truly positive”

Maxine Webster – Event Co-ordinator, Positively Jamaica

[Quote 2]

Christian Aid the movement began life after the Second World War, as the churches response to the refugee crises in Europe. Today the organisation has a more global outlook and tackles issues of poverty and injustice, working with partner organisations in over fifty countries. One partner organisation, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, works with people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS providing vital support. Likewise, ordinary people in the UK as in Jamaica are motivated by a desire for change, mobilising others into positive action. Positively Jamaica is one of these initiatives full of creativity, brimming with fantastic ideas for the whole family to have enjoyment and at the same time contribute to a worthy cause. This bold initiative by the mission team of St John’s Church, led by Maxine Webster has the potential to be a significant event in the heart of Stratford and to be life transforming for many people living in the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica.”

Ken Fuller – Christian Aid, Area Coordinator, London

For further information, contact:

Maxine Webster, email: postively-jamaica@stjohnse15.co.uk Tel: 07944 214 870