Jamaica is 58! On August 6, 1962, the Union Jack was lowered and the colours of black, green and gold were hoisted in honour of our newly independent country. As a newly independent country, we have had to weather the storms, to come out stronger and more resilient on the other side. We have been through hurricanes, earthquakes, economic hardships, and political upheavals but we have persevered and kept up our representation of brand Jamaica, through our music, food, fashion, sports, and our role as leaders on the global stage. Jamaica was the first country to impose a trade embargo on the apartheid regime in South Africa, leading other nations through the United Nations to follow suit. Following his release from prison, Nelson Mandela visited Jamaica in 1991, a symbolic recognition of Jamaica’s strength and leadership. Additionally, Jamaica stands as the leader in the Caribbean for early childhood development as the Early Childhood Commission was established by an Act of Parliament and through its mandate, the Commission has set globally recognised standards for the operation of early childhood institutions and the care and education of children 0 to 6 years old.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded us of our resilience and strength. As a nation, we have rallied around and supported the government in its efforts to contain the spread of the disease, we have reached out to our families and friends to make sure they are doing well, our healthcare and frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe and healthy, we have adjusted our lives and abided by the rules to maintain our social distance and wear our masks when we leave our homes, we have taken up the mantle of home-schooling our children while working from home, we have gone grocery shopping for our elders who had to stay home, and we have recognised that love conquers all, gratitude is a must and kindness goes a long way. We were also reminded that we cannot and should not take our health, lives and loved ones for granted. No doubt COVID-19 will pass but for the time being, we have to learn to live with it. As we have done in the past and will continue to do, as we celebrate 58 years of independence, we will remain resilient and strong!
Wherever you are in this world, as a Jamaican, join us as we celebrate Jamaica 58!