On Wednesday October 27, The United States Embassy in Kingston, hosted specially invited guests to the third staging of the mission’s Stakeholder Appreciation and Recognition Awards (SARA) Ceremony. Seventeen organizations received awards for their exceptional program partnerships in health, security, education, democracy, and social development. The ceremony was held at the Pegasus Hotel, Talk of the Town, in Kingston.
The U.S. Embassy hosted its inaugural staging of the SARA Ceremony in September 2018, where eight external program partners were honored with awards. The 2020 ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, despite the challenges, these individuals and organizations were recognized in the 2021 staging for their tireless contribution, in areas that impact specific needs and advance policies in Jamaica. The purpose of the SARA ceremony is to identify among our external program partners, examples of best practices from varying sectors, and celebrate their exceptional performance. The 2021 awards were made in three categories, Partnership Impact, Outside the Box and Spotlight awards.
At the ceremony, the Embassy’s Chargé d’ Affaires, John McIntyre congratulated the various agencies and offices across the U.S. Mission to Jamaica, who worked daily with Jamaican counterparts in achieving our shared goals. “Celebrating partnership is important. The SARA Ceremony is one of the ways we acknowledge our partners and joint accomplishments. Our combined efforts have served to help prosper the region. We continue to mobilize resources towards Jamaican-led initiatives and encourage continued implementation of programs that are mutually beneficial to our two nations.” The Chargé said.
The Partnership Impact awards were presented to UNAIDS’ Country Director, Manoela Manova. UNAIDS has been a critical ally of PEPFAR as a vocal advocate for HIV-related human rights in Jamaica.
Alisha Anderson, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). For her strategic planning of virtual training events as well coordinating with RADA Parish Offices to identify rural farmers groups for Peace Corps.
Colonel Rohan Johnson, Jamaica Defense Force. For his work in collaborative US/Jamaica defense programs and projects that have helped to strengthen our bilateral military relationship. Andre Wilson, Youth for Development Network (YFDN). For its exceptional partnership in executing the three-day Academy for Women Entrepreneurship (AWE) Jamaica Digital Summit under the theme “Valuing Our Women (VOW)-Entrepreneurs Edition.” Stefan Gordon, Consultant, Global Laboratory & Epidemiology System Strengthening (GLESSN). For his tireless support to the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital Laboratory to attain international Accreditation, during the pandemic.
Eurica Douglas, Clarendon Parish Development Committee. For their work in addressing youth crime and violence in Clarendon since 2019.
The Outside the Box awards were presented to Godiva Golding, Founder & CEO, STEAMHouse Network. For the outstanding implementation of the U.S. Embassy’s artificial intelligence hackathon.
Prof. Celia Christie-Samuels, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) COVID-19 Clinical Outcome Research Team. For their work in the wake of COVID-19 in Jamaica, designing and conducting ambispective studies to understand and describe the clinical features of the disease among children and adults admitted at UHWI. Lieutenant Raphael George Lindsay, Jamaica Defence Force. For his effort during the mid-August 2021 earthquake that devastated the southern claw of Haiti, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Copeland Bailey, President, Community Development Committee Grange Hill. For their COVID-19 Response efforts in delivering food and back-to-school support to vulnerable youth and families and galvanized private sector partners to support apprenticeship and up-skilling activities. Kandasi Walton-Levermore, Executive Director, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life. For their efforts in encourage safer sexual behavior in Jamaica through training and other social outreach programs.
The Spotlight awards were presented to George Davis, President, Press Association of Jamaica. PAJ and the U.S. Embassy partnership in a series of journalism workshops covering, business and finance, mobile and sports journalism. These partnerships have helped to support the island’s press corps, strengthening democracy.
Dr. Alisha Robb-Allen, Senior Medical Officer (Acting), HIV/STI/TB Unit – MOHW. For her efforts in maintaining the gains made in Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS response and continue providing life-saving services to PLHIV amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Geoffrey Barrow Director, Health Connect Jamaica. For his leadership in the development of a model for private sector engagement in the delivery of clinical services to people living with HIV in Jamaica.
Mark Williams, CEO, Kingston Wharves Ltd., and Simone Murdock leads KWL’s marketing and client services. For their important role in helping to promote cooperation between the private sector and government for public safety. Dr. Sasha-Kaye Blackwood and Racquel Brown, Program Director, Centre for HIV/AIDS Research and Educational Services (CHARES). CHARES successfully became the first site in Jamaica to achieve the UNAIDS 3rd 90 through the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021.