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Sweet Potatoes – Health Benefits and Recipes

Did you know that sweet potatoes have twice the fibre, twice the calcium, and over 1300 times more vitamin A than white potatoes? Sweet potatoes are filled with health benefits which when consumed regularly can improve your life.  Here are the top 5 benefits of sweet potato:

  1. Supports Healthy Vision. Sweet potatoes are incredibly rick in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange colour
  2. May Enhance Brain Function. Animal studies have found that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes can protect the brain by reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage.
  3. Boosts Immune System. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that is converted to vitamin A in your body.
  4. Promotes Gut Health. The fibre and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are advantageous to gut health.
  5. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties. Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.  They’re also high in antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage and chronic diseases.

Source: The Gleaner

For more information and ways to prepare:

“The sweet potato is probably the most widely used ground provision because of its taste, versatility and nutritional value. Sweet potatoes are of the Morning Glory convolvulaceae family. The sweet potato is known as batata, the Indian word for sweet potato.

The origin of sweet potatoes is South America (Peru and Ecuador). In the 17th century, potatoes became popular in Europe as a crop during famine. Today, sweet potato is a popular food in the southern United States, where they have been cultivated since the 16th century. Sweet potato is part of the staple diet …..”. Read more here in this article “Sweet Sweet Potato”.



How To: Start A Neighbourhood Watch

A neighbourhood watch is a group of neighbours who look out for each other and report suspicious actions to the police; working together with law enforcement officers to keep their community safe.  Here are some steps to form a group:

  • Get as much information as possible from relevant authorities with regard to legal responsibilities for starting a neighbourhood watch
  • Hold a preliminary meeting to hear neighbours’ interests and concerns and also to establish the purpose of the programme
  • Form a small committee to discuss needs, possible challenges and the concept of the watch
  • Form crucial partnerships with law enforcement officers.  Training from the police and help with recruitment can help to ensure the success of the group
  • Select a place that is easily accessible to everyone in the community, especially residents with disabilities
  • Invite law enforcement officers or a member from a local crime prevention organization to attend your meetings
  • Neighbourhoods may be divided into streets which can each be assigned a leader
  • Develop a communication network to relay information to residents about crime and security
  • Announce/publicize meetings at least one week in advance with door-to-door fliers and follow-up phone calls the day before
  • Make use of local media groups to publicize the successes of the group
  • Consider linking with an existing organization such as the citizens association, community development office, tenants association, housing authority
  • Get everyone involved including children, teens and the elderly

For more information about forming a neighbourhood watch group you can visit the nearest police station or speak with a member of a local crime prevention organization.  Information is also available at the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).

This information appeared as a feature in The Gleaner

How Treasure Beach Is Building A Climate Conscious Community

Everybody will be affected by climate change but what can we do about it?  Well, Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth has been taking action. As was reported in The Gleaner:

“Treasure Beach is the first Jamaican community out of the blocks to take up the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator‘s challenge. Stakeholders are keen for Treasure Beach to be a climate-conscious community. Fishing, farming, and community-based tourism are the way of life in the rural, coastal community in St Elizabeth. Here, development must be sustainable. It is the only option. And steps have been taken in recognition of this reality.” For more, check this link: Treasure Beach On The Climate-Smart Fast Track

Here’s a mini-documentary about what Treasure Beach is doing to build a climate conscious community. These are the voices of the people, their experiences and what the community is doing to adapt and become more resilient.

True resilience happens when every individual is aware, understands and is empowered to take action. All people need to understand what they can do, what their communities can do and what they will need government help to do.  Efforts to build resilience in Jamaica must prioritize creatively engaging those on the ground who will face the effects of climate change as a part of their daily lives.  Listening to people is a must and using culture is critical.

Treasure Beach’s efforts were accelerated with the help of Do Good Jamaica, a non-governmental charitable organization. In response to other communities’ requests for assistance and guidance to build their own climate conscious communities, Do Good Jamaica outlined their 5-step process used in Treasure Beach. Here’s the presentation.

Here’s the climate conscious pamphlet…

…and disaster preparedness tips insert

Share this post and visit dogoodjamaica.org/climatechange for further information, downloadable pamphlets and more.

This post appears courtesy of Do Good Jamaica

For more about Treasure Beach and climate change, see our posts:


Three Ways Climate Change Is Expected To Impact Jamaica

“Caribbean economies, lifestyles, activities, practices and operational cycles are intricately linked to climate, making them vulnerable to its variations and/or changes” (Taylor et al. 2012)

Jamaica, has built and developed infrastructure based on the tropical climate of the region, making it vulnerable to variations in climate patterns and changes.

What does this mean for Jamaica?

Rising Sea Levels
THE CARIBSAVE CLIMATE CHANGE RISK ATLAS (CCCRA): Climate Change Risk Profile for Jamaica reports that if sea levels were to rise by 1 meter, 100% of Jamaica’s ports would be inundated (engulfed), alongside 61% of Frenchman’s Cove and Winnifred Beach and 75% of Hope Bay.

Increased Temperatures and Droughts
Extreme changes in temperature and susceptibility to water scarcity and drought should be expected, according to a presentation prepared by Dr. Michael Witter for the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica in 2007. While citing authoritative sources, Dr. Witter indicated that Jamaica will experience temperature increases from 2-3 centigrade (3.6 – 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2080. This increase in temperature will cause decreased rainfall from June to August during the annual wet season: leading to increased frequencies of drought across the island.

Death of Coral Reefs
Jamaica’s coral reefs have been experiencing bleaching due to high sea surface temperatures from during the years 1987, 1989, 1990, 1998 and even today. Increased global temperature will have even more devastating impacts on the coral reefs, which protects Jamaica from coastal erosion and significant hurricane damage. A report titled Climate Change Impacts on Jamaica’s Biodiversity, published by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), found that Jamaica’s increasing sea surface temperatures of around ~2ºC caused significant bleaching and death of corals, leaving the island more vulnerable to hurricane damage, flooding and coastal erosion.

Want to know more?

Here’s what is being considered and more information about what the government is doing:

Written by Shaquiel Ricketts, student of Campion College.  Edited by Kaeonna Walters. This post appears courtesy of the Do Good Jamaica Professional Pathways high school internship program. 

How To: Treat A Sore Throat

Many persons are at their worst when they have a sore throat: difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, weight loss, and restlessness are just some of the torment experienced. How does one get used to the torturing scratching of sandpaper against their throat whenever they swallow? They don’t, but there are always methods that you can try, to help make the pain less excruciating or temporarily unavailable.

Let’s start with examining what is a sore throat: Mayoclinic.org defines sore throat as “pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens when you swallow.” (Sounds familiar?) this, according to Webmd.com, may occur as a result of a “Cold, Strep Throat or Tonsillitis”, in any case, the feeling is always unpleasant. While some sore throats last a day or two, others last up to 2 weeks.

Jamaicans are famous for home remedies, and according to ‘old time people’, there’s nothing “a likkle bush cyah cure”. Here are some home remedies for treating a sore throat:

  • Gargling (Salt + Warm Water or Warm Water+ Vinegar)
  • Lime + Honey + Warm Water
  • Honey + Peppermint + Warm Water
  • Garlic + Honey + Warm Water
  • Chicken Noodle Soup + Garlic
  • Orange Juice/Cherry Juice (not from concentrate)

These may temporarily soothe that uncomfortable feeling in your throat and allow some therapeutic healing to one’s being.

To better aid on your rollercoaster ride when suffering from a sore throat, here is a list of Must Haves and To Do’s when you have a sore throat:

  1. Toothbrush + toothpaste – Brush your teeth and your tongue regularly. Some persons open their mouths less because it often makes them want to swallow; however, the longer your mouth stays closed, along with that mucus lingering around is sure to produce bad breath. You always want a fresh breath no matter how sick you are.
  2. Hot water + essence of peppermint – Steaming is a great way of clearing up those sinuses and allowing the mucus to drain down into the throat and nostrils, thus, allowing you to blow or spit out that nasty mucus you have building up. The less mucus, the better the chance of ending that sore throat.
  3. Comfort clothes – Some “sore throat patients” are cold the first day and a half and hot and restless the next night. It is advised to wear large t-shirts and loose-fitting pants, always keeping a sweater nearby just in case the chills sneak up on you. This may not work for you, if not, it is advised you wear whatever makes you comfortable, bearing in mind that your goal is to recover quickly.
  4. Tissue/wipes + Spit Bin – The Sore Throat Effect (sand paper against one’s throat) is a dreaded feeling. Many people hate the feeling of anything going against their throat when they have a sore throat but having a dry throat doesn’t make it any better. A spit bin is recommended (You can place tissue or unwanted cloth at the bottom of the bin) to spit into whenever you are scared to swallow or have mucus you want to get rid of. Try to pour alcohol on a new layer of tissue and wipes to reduce bacteria. (it is not a proven fact that this works but it is practiced)
  5. Check your mucus – you want to know if there is any blood in your mucus or note the colour of your mucus to better explain to your doctor when asked.
  6. Change your rags, pillowcases and face towels – to reduce lingering bacteria
  7. Always wash/sanitize your hands – to prevent spreading bacteria
  8. “Medication” – You will need all your treatment in one place. You may opt to create a mini clinic on your nightstand, these along with Vicks Vapor Rub, rubbing alcohol, vitamin C and white rum (pour a half cork in the mole of your head…paradise) will better aid in your “sore treatment”

For sore throats and more, see also our popular Jamaican herbal remedies.

Written by: Kaeonna Walters

Let’s Talk Ackee

Ackee, Jamaica’s national fruit, is the delicious partner in the famous Jamaican national dish duo ‘Ackee and Saltfish’.

This delicacy combines the saltiness of the saltfish and the buttery texture of the ackee, creating a delicious savory, commonly eaten with rice, fried dumplings or ‘cooked food’ (yam, green banana etc.)

For many Jamaicans, the line is drawn at what ackee tastes like and how to prepare it, here are some interesting things to know about the National Fruit:

  • Ackee, derived from the name Ankye which comes from the Twi language of Ghana; it was imported to the island from West Africa by the captain of a slave ship in 1778.
    It was given the botanical name, ‘Blighia Sapida’, in honour of Captain William Bligh, who took a few samples of the fruit across the Great Ocean separating our lands, to Kew Gardens, South London, England in 1793.
  • Since its official entry to our island, the seeds of the fruit have taken root and ackee trees are now abundant, bearing large quantities of the fruit annually. In favourable conditions, the ackee tree can grow up to 15.24 m (50ft), bearing a fruit with a skin that turns red when mature. Once ripe, the fruit bursts open revealing three black seeds surrounded by yellow flesh. At this point, the fruit is ready to be harvested. There are two main bearing seasons for ackee: between January to March and June to August.
  • Ackee can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and dinner; in fact, many have begun cooking it with pork or mackerel (salted or tinned) serving the combinations as a spontaneous dish. Although the fruit is not indigenous to Jamaica, it has helped to shape the culture of Jamaican food: ackee soup, ackee pizza, ackee quiche and even ackee punch are some meals that have become a commonality in Jamaica.
  • The canned product is exported to markets worldwide and has become a way of connecting the diaspora to our island, as residents abroad are still feeling the ‘island vibes’ by seasoning and cooking ackee within their homes.

This national fruit has truly brought together both tourists and native Jamaicans on our great island. Please join us next week, where we will discuss the health benefits of ackee.

Here are some Gleaner articles about ackee:

Written by Gabrielle Brown, student of Campion College.  Edited by Kaeonna Walters. This post appears courtesy of the Do Good Jamaica Professional Pathways high school internship program. 

Portland Eastern By-Election 2019: 6 Things From The Data

After the tragic and untimely death of Member of Parliament Lynvale Bloomfield, the people of Portland Eastern will choose another Member of Parliament in a By-Election. This contest will see Damian Crawford of the previous MP’s People’s National Party go up against Ann-Marie Vaz of the governing Jamaica Labour Party. Here are some facts our analysis of the numbers have revealed:

1. The PNP has won the seat 11 times, 7 times consecutively going back to 1989. The JLP has won the seat 4 times.

2. Since 2002 the Electoral Commission of Jamaica has kept statistics by polling division for each constituency, Portland Eastern has 5 polling divisions.  On each occasion since then, the PNP has won 3 polling divisions (Port Antonio, Prospect and Fellowship), and the JLP has won 2 polling divisions (Fairy Hill and Manchioneal).

3. Portland Eastern is the only constituency that has sent an independent candidate to parliament twice – Sir Harold Egbert Allan, farmer and theatre promoter was a minister of state when he won the second time.

4. Since the 2007 general election the number of eligible voters has increased by 40%, from 25,910 to 36,315 in 2019. In 1944, the number of eligible voters was 19,112 and in 1997 the number of eligible voters was 21,811. In 2002 the number of eligible voters increased by 11% from 2002 to 2007 and has increased every election cycle since then.

5. The number of ballots cast has gone from a low of 10,536 in 1993 (not counting the zero cast in 1983) to a high of 18,229 in 1980. Since 2007, the number of ballots cast went from a low of 15,110 in the 2016 general election to a high of 17,469 in the 2011 general election.

6. Voter turnout since 1962 was consistently in line with the national turnout until 1989 when it fell several points below. This held true until 2007 when it came back in line with the national average and in 2011 went above the national average. Unfortunately, the constituency fell significantly below the national average once again in 2016 with an abysmal turnout of 43.9%.

5 Days Of Champs 2019 – Points Standings, News and More

After 5 days of pure excitement, CHAMPS 2019 has wrapped up and the champions are Kingston College and Edwin Allen High! Here’s the official points standings from the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium and find below links to CHAMPS in the news.

And here’s a round up of the news stories from the final day of CHAMPS, as per The Gleaner:

“Kingston College (KC) won their first Boys Champs title in ten years, while defending champions Edwin Allen had to withstand a strong final day challenge from rivals Hyde to retain their girls crown on a fiery ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships Super Saturday inside the National Stadium…” Read more: CHAMPS 2019 | KC, Edwin Allen Rule At Champs

“After a decade of waiting, incorrect forecasts about victory, disappointment, and agony, Kingston College (KC) beat their arch-rivals Calabar High at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ Athletics Championship at the National Stadium last night. Meanwhile…” Read more: Never Yield! – KC Reign Again, Edwin Allen Hold Off Hydel At Thrilling 2019 Champs

Hear from the students: Champs Fever 2019 | What Has Been Your Favourite Champs Experience?

“Calabar’s Kimar Farquharson produced a spectacular stretch run to shatter the boys Class One 800m record at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships…” Read more: CHAMPS 2019: C’bar’s Farquharson Shatters 800m Record and CHAMPS 2019 | Brilliant Farquharson Shatters 32yo 800m Record

“Like he did in the long jump event, Kingston College’s (KC) record-breaking long jumper Wayne Pinnock produced another record-breaking performance to outclass his rivals to the Boys Class One 110m final at the ISSA/Gracekennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships…” Read more: CHAMPS 2019 | Pinnock, Vascianna Delight In Sprint Hurdles

“Wolmer’s Boys School quarter-miler Jeremy Farr produced a mild upset to win the Class One 400m in a lifetime best time at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships…” Read more: Champs 2019: Jeremy Farr Produces Lifetime Best In 400m


Champs 2019 – Day 4 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 3 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 2 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 1 News Roundup

Check out our CHAMPS guide with results, schedule, how to watch, data, records, trivia and more, including links to our entire CHAMPS category of posts with school profiles etc.




Champs 2019 – Day 4 – In The News

A round up of today’s news stories about the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium, as per The Gleaner:

“It has been 10 years since a Kingston College’s (KC) hand last touched the Mortimer Geddes trophy, but after another day of metronomic efficiency at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships yesterday, purple hearts are getting ready to exhale…” Read more: Sprint To The Finish! – KC, Edwin Allen On Track For Champs Glory

“The many-time champions started the day with an eight-point lead over arch rivals Calabar High, but when the 400m hurdles came around in the afternoon session, things took a drastic change…” Read more: Purples Reign On Day 4 – KC Lead Defending Champions Calabar By 40 Points

“Tina, who had been looking at her sister’s back all season over the 100m, stopped the clock at 11.27 seconds to break Shauna Helps’ seven-year -old mark of 11.50 seconds. No other 14-year-old girl in the world has ever gone faster. You would think she would be thrilled with her achievement, but…” Read more: ‘I Wanted My Sister To Win’ – Tina Clayton Ambivalent After Impressive Win, As Davis, Moore And Distin Delight At Champs

“[Briana] Williams, who has a personal best time of 11.13 seconds in the 100m and 22.50 in the 200m, told The Gleaner in an interview that she plans to go much faster this season.“My expectations are…” Read more: I Wish I Competed At Champs – Williams

“It has been five years since Holmwood Technical last won the girls’ title at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championship, and the wait has made the school as hungry as it was for its first title..” Read more: Holmwood Will Be Back – Jones

“Calabar has an established reputation in the throws events as it is the alma mater of Smikle and also Fedrick Dacres, Commonwealth Games Champion, last year’s IAAF Diamond League winner, and the 2018 RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year. Those are large footsteps to follow, but [Kai] Chang is…” Read more: Chang Continues Calabar Legacy

“Courtney Lawrence is the latest in a growing line of fine throwers from Petersfield High School and could join the likes of Daniel Cope, Sanjay Lawrence, and Kevin Nedrick, as an ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championship winner today. Lawrence qualified easily for the Class One shot put final and has set the stage for glory…” Read more: Will Nedrick’s Record Go?


Champs 2019 – Day 3 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 2 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 1 News Roundup

Check out our CHAMPS guide with results, schedule, how to watch, data, records, trivia and more, including links to our entire CHAMPS category of posts with school profiles etc.




Champs 2019 – Day 3 – In The News

A round up of today’s news stories about the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium, as per The Gleaner:

“Kingston College (KC) Ralford Mullings and Jamaica College’s (JC) Christopher Scott made their mark on the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, with record performances on Day Three at the National Stadium yesterday. KC lead the point standings on…” Read more: Turn Up The Heat! – Battle Intensifies, As Race For The Mortimer Geddes ­Trophy Approaches Boiling Point

“Edwin Allen’s Rushana Dwyer registered the fastest time in the Class Two girls 800m with 2:16.73. The Class Three ­champion from last year is looking to upset Holmwood’s Daniella Deer, the silver medallist from last year. Deer finished second in her semi-final with 2:17.83 behind Spalding’s Cheriece Cope, who stopped the clock at …” Read more: Edwin Allen Make Their Move

“He has continued that impressive showing at Champs, leading all qualifiers into the 100m semi-finals after winning his heat yesterday in a time of 10.32 seconds to underline his status as a favourite for the gold medal. Seville, who came to Calabar with a personal best of…” Read more: Sizzling Seville – Calabar New Boy Hopes For Special Performance

“St Hilda’s High School won the inaugural staging of the ISSA Girls’ Championships in 1957, but the girls from Brown’s Town, St Ann, have not been able to stamp their authority on the event since…” Read more: St Hilda’s Looking To Reclaim Champs Glory

“Petersfield head coach Machel Woolery has been telling the tale that the outstanding Antonio Watson has been hearing footsteps in practice. Back at full speed after an early-season niggle, Watson is back to the form that has won him titles at home, at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ Championships, and abroad. However, according to Woolery, he has been hearing the footsteps of teammate Kevon Stone in training recently…” Read more: Woolery Excited About Petersfield Pair

“Bellefield High School is known in track and field for its middle distance programme, especially having produced national 5,000m record holder Kemoy Campbell and now, promising Class Three runner Tavaughn Martin. However…” Read more: ‘I Created Them’ – Bellefield Coach Tomlin Not Worried About Prodigies Going Astray

“Edith Dalton James High athlete Sanoya Douglas is still basking in the experience of competing at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium yesterday. The 13-year-old Douglas, who is the only female athlete to represent the school at the championships…” Read more: Edith Dalton’s Douglas Looking To Grow From Champs Experience


Champs 2019 – Day 2 – In The News

Champs 2019 – Day 1 News Roundup

Check out our CHAMPS guide with results, schedule, how to watch, data, records, trivia and more, including links to our entire CHAMPS category of posts with school profiles etc.




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