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EDITOR’S NOTE “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead. Valerie Whiting, Violence Prevention Delegate from the Canadian Red Cross shared that quote with me during our Link Up Youth Camp. Truer words have never been spoken! Indeed, our Jamaica Red Cross Youth are ready to tackle violence in their communities. Violence takes many forms and affects everyone. In this issue of Link Up eZine, we explore the various activities Red Cross Youth have undertaken in Violence Prevention. We also have a four-page spread on our recently held JRC Link Up Summer Camp, which engaged 22 Youth Leaders from across the island in discussions on Violence Prevention.











9 11












Remember, violence is preventable!








THE SEVEN  FUNDAMENTAL  PRINCIPLES HUMANITY The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.

NEUTRALITY In order to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

IMPARTIALITY It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

UNITY There can be only one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.

INDEPENDENCE The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.

VOLUNTARY SERVICE It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

UNIVERSALITY The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.



Special Feature






Volunteer of the Month


Melissa Matthie

How long have you been a part of the Red Cross? I have been a part of Red Cross since 2003, when I was trained as a Peer Educator while attending High School.

Why did you decide to become a part of it? I have always wanted to be a nurse when I

was much younger, so that I may be able to help others that are in need. After getting into high school, I found out that a Red Cross youth link would allow me the opportunity to see what serving humanity is like. I knew I had to join, but my school at the time did not have a youth linkn so my guidance counsellor introduced me to the Together We Can Peer Education Programme.

What do you like most about being involved in Red Cross? I believe I like just

about everything so far, but I must say the wonderful people we get as volunteers each year, the programmes we offer that train others to project life and provide career advancement goals; but mostly, I love doing voluntary work on the ambulance or in the HIV programmes.

What position do you hold within the Red Cross? I am the Youth Chairman at the

Manchester Branch of the Jamaica Red Cross. As a Chairman, my responsibilities would include calling and chairing youth section meetings, filtering information to the links and area groups within my parish, developing project documents to assist in the maintenance of youth development with our Red Cross movement and ensuring that all the youth links within the parish are functioning in their best capacity.

work experience. It also assists with making career decisions when seeking a job. It’s also an opportunity to advance your resume, but most importantly, it allows you to help others and meet people you would not have gotten the opportunity to, and it can be a lot of fun at the end of the day.

What other areas of service are you currently involved in? To restore my

community park as an attraction area, to continuously work with those who have worked so hard in revamping the Hope Village Youth Club to provide the much needed support to the youths we serve. Also, to always promote health and educational cavity building activities. Nationally, to assist the youth populace through providing technical and encouraging support for an environment that facilitates policy discussions among youth through my office as General Secretary of the National Youth Council of Jamaica.

What are your influences? I am influ-

enced by a number of things but none more so than the principles of the Red Cross movement; Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. My favorites are humanity, where I will always feel the need to endeavour to alleviate human suffering without stigma and discrimination, and voluntary service – “to give of thy self is the greatest gift to give’’. I have been called to the service of mankind and my country.

What are your personal and pro-‐ fessional goals? [My] ultimate personal goal is

to complete a degree in medical technology and to be an entrepreneur and own a customer service training company.

Why is it important for young people to volunteer? It is very important for young people to volunteer as it will assist in providing good 5

Link of the Month


Members participating in St. John’s Primary School Link nish Town Square. the Heroes Day parade in Spa

St. Johns Primary School is a 36-year-old institution located on St. John’s Road in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. The school was founded by Roman Catholics and is jointly run by the Jamaican Diocese and the government. St. John’s Primary operates on a shift system, catering to approximately 1,800 students with 56 teachers. The school has, over the years, developed a strong track record in sports and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission ( JCDC) competitions and also has over eight active clubs and societies, including the Red Cross Youth Link. The Link has been active for over 30 years, first under the leadership of Ms. Luchette Brown. The current Link Patron, Mrs. Claudette Williams-Brown, has been at the helm since 1997. She is also the Assistant Parish Youth Chairman, an Enrollment Officer and an Executive member of the St. Catherine Red Cross. The St. John’s Primary Link boasts 45 active enrolled members and eight Link Patrons. The afternoon shift meets from 10:30a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the morning shift meets from 12:30p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The executive comprises of mainly Grade Six and Grade Five students who are elected in the first term of the school year. The Link participates in a wide variety of activities, including parish and national Red Cross events, civic functions such as Heroes Day and Independence Day parades, summer camps and World AIDS Day activities. The Link also opened the school’s sick bay in 2009.

National Yout

h Rally 2010

winning bann


teered at different school functions like sports, Jamaica Day, and Peace Day,” said Mrs. Williams-Brown. Link members also made rugs to cover the floor in the sick bay.

School Activities:

Link members operate a drink project, where a cup of mixed drink is provided two times per week to students on the PATH Programme.

Annual Parish Rally: The school hosted the 2011 event on March 11, 2011 under the theme “Peace and Positiveness” under the guidance of Parish Youth Chairman, Mrs. Beverley Harris. A total of 11 schools participated. First Aid, Quiz, Drill, Performing Arts, Art and Craft and Culinary competitions were carried out and St. John’s received 1st Place in the First Aid Competition and 2nd Place in the Art and Craft Competition. National Youth Rally: “We are always represented at the Annual National Youth Rallies and winning is our specialty. I can’t recall a rally when we came home empty-handed,” said Mrs. Williams-Brown. Indeed, St. John’s walked away with five Category One and four Category Two awards at this year’s Rally. Upcoming Projects: “Our plans for the upcoming academic year are to add some well-needed equipment to the sick bay. This equipment will comprise of two standing fans, a face basin and a display board,” Mrs. Williams-Brown said.

Major Projects, 2011 First Aid: “There is no stationed First Aider appointed to the institution, so Link Patrons and First Aid link members volun6

Link of the Month Caribbean 3URoOH


n to a entaito s e r p a akes . Left) m d Cross ueeley ( he Anguilla Re Q r o v Tre r of t membe

Trevor ( Third Left) wi

th a group of Angu illa Red Cross Links.

Trevor dem onstrates fi rst aid techniquee s.

Trevor Queeley is the dedicated Youth and Peer Education Programme Manager of the Anguilla Red Cross (ARC), but when he was first introduced to the Red Cross in second form, he had a number of important ‘concerns’ that had to be addressed before he even considered signing on. “One of my friends, Leston, would disappear every Monday afternoon for about an hour and a half, so I asked him where he goes every Monday. He responded and said Red Cross. I then asked a series of questions about Red Cross, including: Isn’t that for old people? What do you do there? And, do they have girls there?” he recalled.

and assisted then Youth and Peer Education Programme Manager, Vanessa John, until I was offered the role in 2009,” he said. Since then, he has gone on to represent the ARC both regionally and internationally and in 2010, was elected to the Caribbean Youth Coordinating Committee for the Caribbean Youth Network.

It was indeed a girl who finally influenced him to join, as he noticed Leston walking to a Monday meeting with “a very attractive young lady”. The rest, as they say, is history. Trevor, who grew up in the fishing community of Trafalgar Village just outside the St. Kitts capital Bassettere, started attending youth meetings in the city in January 1997. “[I] learnt what Red Cross is about and fell in love with the organisation and what it stands for and believe in its Fundamental Principles,” he shared.

Trevor and his team are currently working on several projects, including a summer training programme dubbed ‘Youth - Training for Action’, to take place this month; peer education training, also slated for August; developing a youth-friendly space with the technical assistance of Patrice Lafluer of UNFPA and devising a school expansion plan for the upcoming school year. “Having young persons involved in volunteer service not only guarantees the continuation of the organisation’s life, it also brings a vibrant, enthusiastic bunch of persons to the work of the organisation,” he explained. “Having them involved would develop their personal growth and would keep them on the right track as they develop and seek their careers.”

Trevor has definitely grown from a reluctant new member to one of the Red Cross’ brightest stars. Before relocating to Anguilla in 2007, he held several key positions within the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross (SKNRC), including Assistant District Youth Leader (Basseterre), Deputy HIV and AIDS Programme Coordinator and Youth Director. He is trained in leadership as well as first aid and water safety, and is an Instructor Trainer for the Together We Can (TWC) HIV and AIDS peer education programme. “My first form of employment came as a result of the Red Cross. The love for helping people steered me to becoming an [Emergency Medical Technician] in 2003,” he added.

As the Programme Manager, Trevor’s responsibilities include coordinating and delivering peer education activities in school and community youth groups, developing training programmes and ensuring the quality output of all programmes and activities.

Trevor is also keen on increasing the number of males within the ARC. “Young men make up just over one third of the volunteers and the ones that attend are usually engaged in the activities,” he said. However, “some may take a little more motivating than others. I also realise that a healthy competition keeps their interest and motivates them.”

Trevor found that there weren’t as many Red Cross activities in Anguilla as he was used to back home, so he set out to make a difference. “Once again, I found myself in youth work primarily 7



Youth Chairman of Susan Moore (Second Left) National Minister Bruce Golding e Prim the Jamaica Red Cross poses with a recent event. (Third Left), and other attendees at

Twenty-four years after becoming a member of the Red Cross as a second form student at The Queen’s School, Susan Moore has blazed a trail of exceptional voluntary service within the organization. During her time as a youth volunteer and after leaving high school, she was a member of the Kingston and St. Andrew branch of the Red Cross, where she became a Youth Leader, receiving training in HIV & AIDS, international humanitarian law and representing the Red Cross in Sweden in 1999 at a World Youth meeting. Today, she serves as the National Youth Chairman. “I am expected to assist the youth section in terms of our way forward, in terms of policies and also to sit on the highest committee and make sure that in whatever the Red Cross does, the reflection and the voice of the youth is also captured,” she said. Moore’s involvement in the Red Cross at such an early age has undoubtedly helped to shape her career choices. She has chosen the health care field, pursuing dental nursing, health administration and a Masters in Public Health, specialising in Health Promotion. Not one to limit herself, Moore also juxtaposes her volunteer work with her current role as Director of Health Care at Food for the Poor, another organisation that allows her to make an impact on the lives of individuals. “I give a lot of what I have gained in my work world to what I’ve gained in the Red Cross,” Moore said. “When I thought of doing even post-graduate, I thought of what it is that I can do that can assist me even further in terms of working with those most vulnerable.” For Moore, the Red Cross has played a crucial part in her development, equipping her with lifelong skills that have proved crucial in different areas of her life. “It is helping me to keep in touch with that part that says no matter how bad you think you have it; there is somebody else that is worst,” she said. “Also, it helps you to recognize that there is

Susan Moore (Second Right)

National Youth Chairman of Jamaica Red Cross.

“I give a lot of what I have gained in my work world to what I’ve gained in the Red Cross,” Moore said. “When I thought of doing even post-‐graduate, I thought of what it is that I can do that can assist me even further in terms of working with those most vulnerable.” something you receive from helping somebody else that you cannot be paid for.” Moore is motivated by the possibility of creating a difference in people’s lives and has high praises for the outstanding impact of the Red Cross. It has instilled within her skills such as leadership, team building, working effectively in a team, conflict resolution and how to be more understanding of persons who might have a different outlook. Citing the seven principles of the Red Cross, Moore said there is no other institution that compares to the Red Cross and its significant commitment to caring for anyone regardless of their situation or orientation. “The Red cross has helped me to be that person, to see the person in need and see beyond everything else,” she said. Her advice to young persons is simple yet profound, highlighting the importance of getting involved in volunteer work. “You gain so much by giving of yourself… As we continue to look at building a nation, being the future leaders of this nation, to continue to do that, we have to be there in all different aspects,” Moore said. “Young people have an opportunity to really create a difference in the world and as the future leaders, they have to know that whatever it is they do, it must impact not only themselves but other persons. They have to be that catalyst, that change, that difference and in order for them to do that, they have to really look positively on what is going to impact and to take us further.” It is this passion for service that has steered Moore in the direction she is now; a passion that has had significant positive impacts on the lives of the country’s most vulnerable, proving the undeniable importance of leading by example. 8

Teen View


Links pose for the Ashaney and other verty’ campaign. ‘Barefoot Against Po


Ashaney representing

the Jamaica Red Cros s in Solferino, Italy

Violence against women and children in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is an increasing phenomenon that must be reversed to halt the prevalence of HIV & AIDS. As parties to various United Nations Conventions, Caribbean States must take steps to uphold the rights of women and children along with civil society organizations and youth organizations.

Issues such as the laws governing sex workers need to be addressed as well. Sex work is illegal activity in most countries and, as such, women are subjected to rape and abuse by their client and because it is illegal, they are unable to report these incidents. Regardless of what the law states, the rights of women and children must be protected because every human has rights.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979: “States commit themselves to prevent discrimination against women in all forms by person, organization and other entity.”

As Red Cross Youth, we need to form an alliance to prevent violence against women and children and create a society suitable for us to live and play. As young people, we need to develop projects to educate our community and start a public campaign to stop violence against women and children with young people at the forefront advocating for change.

Violence continues to rise in all parts of society and to the detriment of the most vulnerable. For instance, violence manifests itself in various forms against sex workers – they are raped, ostracized and abused frequently. Likewise, children are abused and neglected by parents and other family members. Children are even sometimes subjected to rape. HIV is most prevalent amongst women and young girls and, as such, a great need for violence prevention is necessary to further prevent its spread and boost the success of HIV & AIDS prevention measures.

Red Cross Youth continue to be the voices for the most vulnerable in our society and advocating for the elimination of violence against women and children is a priority. We will take steps to advocate for violence prevention in all forms and to ensure other young people are educated in order to spread the message and to create a society of peace and goodwill. We are the Red Cross Youth - doing more, reaching further for humanity. 9

" WHEN I   SAY   'LINK   UP',   YOU   SAY   'YOW!’ ”  

Cover Story


Teens particitpate in informative sessions on violence prevention at a four-day link up camp in Discovery Bay, St. Ann.

The summer holiday is almost over, but there is still time to squeeze in some fun before heading back to school! Twenty-two youth members of the Jamaica Red Cross did just that recently when, mixing fun and games with informative sessions on violence prevention at the four-day Link Up Camp, held on the grounds of the Discovery Bay Marine Park in St. Ann. “JRC Link Up Camp started as an idea to revive our yearly summer camp and evolved into something spectacular,” said StacyAnn Tomlinson, Programmes Director, HIV and Youth. “JRC Link Up was the first of hopefully many capacity building training sessions for youth leaders in violence prevention. These youth leaders are expected to assist in rolling out violence prevention activities within their schools and communities over the next six months.”

Why Violence Prevention? “Violence is not new to the Jamaican context and affects every demographic. Youth are at risk of violence in schools, at home, in their communities, everywhere! This is why we had violence prevention camp,” Tomlinson pointed out. The excited campers were trained by Valerie Whiting, violence prevention delegate from the Canadian Red Cross, who was equally thrilled to be involved in the activity. She trained the campers on Understanding Violence and Responding to Violence. The key messages they took home surrounded the four P’s - violence starts with People who abuse their Power and that it is Predictable and therefore Preventable. The youth leaders then took on the task of creating a problem tree, which they used to identify the causes and effects of violence among their peers. Most of the youth agreed that the lack of resources, opportunities, access to service and cultural outlets were some of the major causes of vi-

olence. Days two, three and four saw the campers learning about HIV and its links to violence and responding to and reporting violence, as well as a session on public speaking and communication. The majority of the participants were from St. Catherine, with a few persons from St James, Manchester and St Elizabeth. Things were a bit rough in the beginning as the bus broke down along the way. However, with the help of counsellors Nicholas and Xavier, the youth were shuttled in just in time for lunch.

Night Flex The days were filled with learning and training, but the nights were for fun! For each ‘Night Flex’, the campers got together on the dock at the Marine Park and played games and spoke casually about issues facing them as Red Cross Youth. Night Flex saw campers sharing personal stories of their experiences with violence. Many of these stories were of interpersonal violence and allowed for bonding among the group. On day three, the campers headed to Peach Beach, a JRC-owned property where they enjoyed a day of water sports and competitions, including a bulla eating contest. The final night was a big blow-out event as the campers and facilitators celebrated, also crowning Mr. and Miss Link Up 2011. “Camp was a huge success and youth from all the parishes developed an action plan to roll out their projects in their schools and communities. These projects will be supported and implemented by the Jamaica Red Cross,” Tomlinson stated. Camp counsellors included Xavier Biggs, Nico Tyndale, Sonya Gosling, Danielle Mattis, Valerie Whiting, Nicholas Knox and Stacy– Ann Tomlinson from National Headquarters. Nurse Blanch Burke, the Link Patron from deCarteret College, was also present.


" WHEN I   SAY   'LINK   UP',   YOU   SAY   'YOW!’ ”  

Cover Story


Aubrey – St James “Camp was truly awesome. It is my first JRC camp and I believe we have something good in the making... There is a lot to do in this nation and it definitely has to begin with us.”

Garenzo – St James “My experience at camp was very good. Had a little issue with the bus, but got over it! Learnt a lot about violence prevention [and] HIV 101… My advice to youth leaders is to get their (Red Cross) Link up and running, get them in the communities, get them active.“

Jermaine – St Catherine “Camp is wonderful! Learnt a lot about violence. I want Red Cross Youth to be in the community more often, help the youths rise to the occasion… I’m dedicating my life right now to making this world a better place.”

Shannon – St Elizabeth “Camp was good. It could have been a little longer. Made friends. Red Cross needs to be more active in St Elizabeth.” 12

Cover Story



Nicholas Knox 29 HIV Programme Manager Best remembered for being the ‘gofer’ and smiling

Sonya Goslin g 25 Out-of-School Pr ogramme Coordinator Best remembered for ‘picking out’ hair while thinking or talking.

ale ynd T o er Nic 23 lunte maso V / ibes k ader h Le red as v say ‘Lin t u o I e Y b n e m “Wh !!’” reme Best nkster – y ‘YOW a a r s p ter/ Up’, you

iel M att is 24 Y o uth V Best r o exerc emember lunteer ise D e rill M d for bein aster and p g the ranks ter.

Biggs r e i v a X 24 ator Coordin ing a e m m a r hold Progr bered fo m e m e r . Best balloon

Valerie Whiting 33 Violence Prevention Delegate Best remembered for being an American who works for the Canadian Red Cross but lives in Panama!

kerry – Ann Willis 25 HIV & Youth Project Officer Best remembered for her excellent communication skills (“Guh back back!”, “Tap! Tap! Tap!”) and dropsy.

Stac y–A n Tom lins n on 2 Youth 5 Best r D irecto emem r in bull bered for b a eatin est str g com a petitio tegy n!

Burke nche College a l B Nurse n – deCarteret eing a ro Link Pat embered for b Best rem nurse.


Cover Story



Valerie Whiting, (Right) Violence Prevention Delegate with the Canada Red Cross.

Valerie has only been with the Red Cross Movement for 10 months, but she has worked in Violence Prevention for years, with the Girl Scout, the Peace Corps and her church. Before the Red Cross, she worked in educational opportunities for out-of-school youth affected by gangs and crime. “I joined the Movement because of the possibility of working on violence prevention, which is very personal to me, within the context of the largest organization in the world. I believe that if we can bring cultures of non-violence and peace into the Red Cross, then we can truly change the world,” she said. Valerie manages the “10 Steps to Creating Safe Environments” project with the Red Cross Societies of Colombia, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama. She trains senior leaders in policy development to create safe environments within the Red Cross offices and programmes. She also helps National Societies incorporate Violence Prevention into their programmes and develop new, innovative community-based programmes related to Violence Prevention, like the JRC Link Up Camp. “Above all, I hope that [the campers] took with them a spirit of volunteerism and a feeling of connection to the Red Cross Movement. I believe that what most young persons today are looking for is a place to fit in and usually that is on the corner and not in a positive leadership role,” she said. Valerie will never forget the late-night pranks. Or how hard it is to win a bulla-eating contest! “I am VERY glad that participants learned, were inspired, but also just had fun!” she said. 14



orkshop for icipate in a w . rt pa n to gs ve West Kin nomic Initiati Residents of ss’ Micro-Eco ro C ed R e th

Participants receivi

ng training in busin

ess practices.

Jamaicans, especially those who lived through last May’s West Kingston incursion, would probably love to erase the memories of what happened. Not only did many residents lose family members and friends, they also lost businesses they had spent years building. However, all hope is not lost. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Jamaica Red Cross have partnered to form the Micro-Economic Initiative (MEI) project, which provides 50 persons with grants of J$30,000 to start new business ventures or rebuild the ones they had lost during the unrest.

operative Credit Union, which is a stakeholder in the project. Residents have also expressed their gratitude for the initiative. Other than the new businesses, Francis also noted several positives that have already come out of the project, including a new sense of unity among residents of the five communities which are often in conflict with each other. “The training sessions involved everybody. Those who were grieving got counselling. They are communicating more freely with each other now,” she said. “There is also a sense of pride to own something for themselves. This is not a handout.”

The project was started this April, just under a year after the incursion. Volunteers from the ICRC and the JRC were already working in the five communities affected – Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Fletcher’s Land, Hannah Town and Matthews Lane, assisting residents with food packages, transporting others to the hospital and offering counseling services. They soon realised, however, that the residents needed more help to get back on their feet, explained Project Coordinator, Marja Francis.

Danville Palmer, a 20-year-old resident of Hannah Town, was one of the beneficiaries of the MEI. After losing many of his possessions during the incursion, Palmer was grateful for the assistance given, which allowed him to purchase well-needed items for his juice business.

“We solicited the assistance of respective community leaders and Community Development Officers from the Social Development Commission (SDC). We met and shared the project goal and beneficiary criteria with them and asked them to mobilise 25 persons that were adversely affected by the unrest from each community,” Francis said. The criteria for consideration included single parent households; households with elderly dependents; those whose businesses were destroyed during the unrest; those who had sustainable micro business ideas but lacked the finances to implement them, and those who were adversely affected but had not yet received any assistance. They received and assessed 114 applicants, after which the field was then narrowed down to 50 residents. “We trained them in business practices, things like how to write a business plan; how to do market research; pricing; financial management; how to pay themselves and how to expand the business,” Francis explained. She added that the residents were also encouraged to think of sustainable businesses, not short-term, seasonal ventures. Training was provided in collaboration with Churches Co-

“I lose my deep freeze in my shop and I lose a whole heap a household items, like my TV, my bed, my chest of drawers, my fan,” he said. “It [the MEI] help mi out a lot right now. I can put food on my table, have savings and still put in the business. They give me back a start.” Palmer said he has plans to expand the business. “The main thing is just to get it bigger because me want to can give back, help to the community and know that my help come from the Red Cross and me can do all a these donations back to certain things,” he said. In addition to Palmer, the list of entrepreneurs includes dressmakers, tailors, bar operators, nail technicians, vendors and grocery shop operators and photographers. “Some were in business before but had to stop [because of the unrest]. Shops, shoemakers, dressmakers and tailors lost a lot of their property due to damage,” Francis pointed out. She also noted that the businesses will be assessed once again at the end of September in preparation for the end of the project in October. “We will then do further assessment to see if this is something we can do in other similar communities across the island.”


Social Issues

CYBERBULLYING: MANY TEENS  SUFFER   IN  SILENCE Have you ever had a friend, ex-friend or schoolmate post threatening or embarrassing things about you on Facebook, Twitter or your blog? What about harassing emails or texts? Yes? Well, you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying and you’re not alone. Millions of youth worldwide are bullied every day and many don’t know that they are being bullied or even how to handle the situation. According to the website, “‘Cyberbullying’ is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.” Although the term ‘cyberbullying’ was only recently coined, the practice isn’t new to Jamaica. The proliferation of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has almost guaranteed that teens will be harassed in some way by their peers. Over the years, there have been a number of eye-catching stories about teens using Bluetooth and email to share photos and videos of their peers in compromising positions. Now, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier for teens to be bullied or even become bullies themselves. Seventeen-year-old Royanne DaSilva, the second runner-up in this year’s Miss Teen World Jamaica competition, disclosed in a Red Cross Peer Education training session that she was targeted by individuals who posted malicious comments about her on the competition’s Facebook page. These statements were all untrue and hurtful, Royanne said. “When I first saw the comments, I was shocked. My body literally went numb. Each negative word punched me so hard. Thankfully, I had my supporters so they were defending me on the website,” she said. “Nevertheless, I cried and I locked myself in my room.” This is a typical reaction to cyberbullying. Many persons vent their hurt and frustration through tears, blame themselves for the attacks or instantly retaliate, thinking that they will be able to handle the situation by themselves. In many cases, this is not possible. As Royanne was smart enough to realise, cyberbullying is usually a cry for attention or a symptom of personal selfesteem issues.

“I realized that this was not going to solve the problem. I prayed, then called my best friends and they tried to comfort me. The wound was still there, so I researched some inspirational quotes, which really helped,” Royanne said. She advised persons who bully others to consider their actions and how posts on the internet may come back to haunt them in the future. She also highlighted recent cases of teens committing suicide because they were not able to deal with the effects of cyberbullying. “Would you really want to be the cause of that? Think before you act. Additionally, if you have an issue with someone, try to address it face-to-face and in a mature manner. Cyberbullying is inexcusable,” she said. “Cyberbullying is a type of violence and many young persons do not know this! During interventions with youth, you realize that this is very common. It’s almost becoming a norm,” said StacyAnn Tomlinson, Jamaica Red Cross Programmes Director, HIV and Youth. “The Internet is so fast and is one of the easiest methods of communicating. It can do a great deal of good but so much harm. Red Cross Youth have a responsibility to report these acts of cyberbullying as well as to speak to their peers about violence prevention.” Royanne also had some words of encouragement for those who, like herself, have been bullied: “You are not alone. I found that praying and talking to your loved ones about it definitely helped. You can even report it to your parents, teachers or anyone with authority to get the situation under control,” she said. “At the end of the day, people will always have something negative to say, so all you can do is be yourself, be good to people and let them talk while you climb the ladder of success.” To learn how to prevent cyberbullying or other types of violence, contact Jamaica Red Cross at 16

Social Media & You

TIPS ON  HOW  YOUTH  CAN   PREVENT  CYBERBULLYING Cyberbullying is a form of violence. It affects youth world wide. As Red Cross Youth, we are leaders and agents of change. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:

1) KEEP  PERSONAL  INFORMATION   PRIVATE One disadvantage of the internet is its potential to encourage oversharing. You’re interacting with friends, so you think it’s OK to share certain things about what you do and where you’re going. If you wouldn’t share it face-to-face, then you definitely should not be sharing it online.

2) STOP,  BLOCK  AND  TELL If there is someone online whom you deem to be harassing you, it is important that you stop and not try to retaliate, immediately block or limit communication with that person and inform an adult of what’s happening. You don’t have to deal with this on your own. 3)  GOOGLE  YOURSELF It’s amazing what you can find out about someone by doing a simple Google search. What information is out there about you? Did you put it there? If so, do you really want that information to be seen by everyone? Is your phone number available? Did you type your address into a survey and didn’t check the privacy settings? It is crucial that you monitor the information that is available about you. 4)  TAKE  FIVE! “Put down the mouse and step away from the computer. By not reacting and taking the time to calm down, we can avoid becoming a cyberbully ourselves.” Our first reaction to cyberbullying might be to retaliate with a few choice words of our own, but that can only exacerbate the problem. Take time to calm down before you do or say something you might regret.

e-mail, or visiting a cyberbullying “vote for the fat girl” site, or allowing others to take videos or cell phone pictures of personal moments or compromising poses of others.”

6) PRACTICE  THE  INTERNET   GOLDEN  RULE This is what many persons call ‘Netiquette’, which is essentially doing unto others online what you would want them to do to you. Before you press “send”, consider this: “Is it worth sending? Don’t waste peoples’ time with false rumors; don’t attack others online, say anything that could be considered insulting or that is controversial and don’t forward other people’s e-mails without their permission or share their personal information.” Remember, cyberbulling, like all forms of violence, is preventable. Do your part!

5) DON'T  BE  AN  ACCOMPLICE. This is your chance to take a stand against cyberbullying. It might be fun and exciting to join your friends in taunting someone else, but is that really the person you are? Would that action make your parents proud? “Think twice before forwarding a hurtful



DESIGNS  BY  NISHY  TIPS  FOR  SETTING  UP  A  BOOTH Company advertisements, logos and other forms of branding are very critical to display. In addition to a company’s name or initiative, you want the public to have a visual concept that they can relate to even after the event. A good way to do this by a slideshow that you can play on a laptop or connect to an LCD/Plasma television.

6.  Flowers and lighting (battery operated LED or spot lighting) are additional decorating items that are guaranteed to attract people to your booth. HAVE  FUN,  BE  CREATIVE  AND  MAKE  YOUR   PERSONAL  STYLE  SHINE  THROUGH! Nichelle Knox-Thompson, owner of Designs By Nishy

Decorating a booth for an exhibition or trade show can be an easy process. Firstly, it is imperative that the booth is visually appealing so that it grabs people’s attention by standing out from all the other participants.



INSTRUCTIONS: 1.  Determine if it is necessary for your booth to be set up under a tent (if it is an outdoor event). 2. You may require two (2) tables to create an “L� shaped booth or three (3) tables to create a “U� shaped booth. These should be dressed in clean, crisp tablecloths. 3. It is important to allow for company materials to be easily accessible and clearly displayed on the tables. Remember that this information is what needs to reach the clients. Banners can be placed at the top of the back panel of a tent or hanging from the top and front of the table. 4. If possible, allow for one table to display freebies, samples or company printed giveaways. These items should match with the “feel� of the booth, what the company/group represents and the clientele you are reaching out to. 5.  Audio-visual is a very creative part of booth “decorations�. 18





4. WHAT  ARE  THE  SEVEN  FUNDAMENTAL  PRINCIPLES  OF  THE  MOVEMENT? 5.  WHY  DO  WE  CELEBRATE  WORLD  RED  CROSS  RED  CRESCENT  DAY  ON  MAY  8? CONDITIONS  AND  RULES To be eligible for the competition , participants must be subscribed to Link Up Ezine. All questions must be answered correctly and emailed to by September 5, 2011. All responses must be sent in by email and should include First and Last Name, telephone number and email address. Winner will be contacted via phone and email. Jamaica Red Cross Staff are not eligible for this competition.


Jamaica  Red  Cross Jamaica Red Cross Headquarters Central Village , St Catherine Tele: (876)984-7860-2 Fax: (876) 984-8272 Email:

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Suites # 11-12 Technology Innovation Center University of Technology 237 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6

(876) 970-5657

Link Up eZine  

August 2011 Issue

Link Up eZine  

August 2011 Issue