Jamaicans in the Southern United States are heeding the call to return to their homeland during the week of October 15 – 22, 2005 to celebrate “Homecoming Week”


Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq.
Southern United States
Diaspora Advisory Board Member
3325 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 206
Hollywood, Florida 33021
954-963-855 ph:
954-963-1632 fax


September 28, 2005


Jamaicans in the Southern United States are heeding the call to return to their homeland during the week of October 15 – 22, 2005 to celebrate “Homecoming Week”. The week is set aside for Jamaicans living overseas to return to their communities to help with practical projects and sow seeds of hope for a better future in their homeland.

The Jamaican Consul General, Ricardo Allicock and the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member – Southern United States, Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington will lead a group of Jamaicans home to participate in two group projects.

The first project is to repair the Woodford Basic School in Woodford, St. Andrew that was damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004; and to provide funds for a teacher for one year.

The second project is to assess the damage to Epping Forrest Primary School in St. Elizabeth and to start a building fund for the repairs. This school suffered severe damage during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Two seasoned Jamaican-born architects who are employed with PBSJ, Inc. in Florida will be lending their expertise to the project.

The community has been fundraising by conducting a raffle with prizes donated by Air Jamaica, Pointe Village, Ocho – Rios Miami Trading Co., and in conjunction with FULLAIDEAS, Inc. The Rev. Dennis Grant, Pastor at Restoration Ministries has sponsored a classroom at the Woodford Basic School and encourages others to donate to the cause. Holy Family Episcopal Church in Miami will take a special collection to be donated to Woodford Basic School. Hot PC Deals has also donated a personal computer for Epping Forrest Primary School.

To donate to the school rebuilding funds, please make checks payable to Jamaican Diaspora-Southern United States and note: School Fund. A separate U.S. dollar account will be maintained with Jamaica National Building Society to fund the Epping Forrest project. “The school in St. Elizabeth is a long-term project and we must first assess the cost to repair the building and then raise the money to rebuild the structure.” said Walker-Huntington. The goal is to begin the repairs to Woodford and open the Epping Forrest building fund.

The group from the Southern United States will visit St. Elizabeth on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 and work on the Woodford Basic School on Wednesday, October 19, 2005.

Additionally, Needy Kids of Jamaica based in Pembroke Pines, Florida has adopted Middle Buxton Basic School in St. Ann. Elgeeta Thompson-Martin, President of Needy Kids will also travel to Jamaica during Homecoming Week and present supplies and visit with the students in her home parish of St. Ann.

Jamaicans all across the Diaspora are encouraged to join with these projects or to start projects of their own in other communities in Jamaica. To learn more about how you can be involved in “Homecoming Week”, an initiative of Hands Across Jamaica for Righteousness, please visit www.jamaicahomecoming.net.