Basseterre, St KittsThis esteemed awardee, Mrs. Jacqulin Davis-Christopher, was born in the western most parish of Jamaica, Westmoreland; a parish that history credits as the home of a major event which changed the course of Jamaica’s history. In short, Westmoreland ushered in universal adult suffrage in the mid-1940s and launched the political careers of two (2) of Jamaica’s National Heroes, The Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante and the Rt. Excellent Norman Washington Manley. Therefore, if one’s place of birth can provide an indication of the impact a person will have on society, Mrs. Christopher was destined to bring about exemplary change wherever she settled.
The second of eight (8) children, Mrs. Christopher’s childhood experiences implanted in her a permanent desire to help others. Towards this end, she enrolled in the Salvation Army Training College in Kingston, Jamaica, thus offering up herself to preach the gospel of Christ while meeting human needs in His name, without discrimination. In 1979, she was assigned to St. Christopher & Nevis to work with the Church and its primary school.
For eleven (11)years (albeit, non-consecutive ones), she taught at the primary school level within the Federation, as well as in Antigua & Barbuda. She honed an uncanny ability to reach even the most challenging child; getting them to focus on achieving their full potential, to the relief of many appreciative parents. Today, her former students are themselves contributing to their country’s development as teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, to name but a few.
She segued from the classroom into the wider community, when she began her social-work journey in 1999 with the Government of St. Christopher & Nevis. Over the years, her certificates, in Pastoral Counseling from the United Theological College (UTC), Jamaica; in Business Administration, from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados and in Executive Management from the London College of Management, equipped her suitably for her role as a Community Development Officer for the Federation.
This was in conjunction with her involvement in the leadership training programme entitled: Advancing Transformational Leadership for Gender Justice in the Caribbean. She has established programmes and activities for the young and old, teaching them practical skills such as dressmaking, carpentry and auto mechanics, with which skills they could enhance their employability. Additionally, she is involved in the rehabilitation of teenage and adult prisoners (both male and female). In this effort, she imparts critical life skills such as confidence building, conflict resolution, anger management, decision making and goal setting, in order to help them transition back into society.
To date, Mrs. Christopher, through her skillful proposal writing, has helped raise over EC$300,000 from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the Australian Government, the Canadian High Commission in Barbados and the Advancement for Children Foundation (ACF), all directed towards computer training for the blind, and various types of training for other community groups and numerous organizations, as well as the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis.
Indeed, the Federation is grateful for her proposal writing acumen, from which the country has benefited immensely. She is presently working with York University to write yet another proposal to seek funding for a three year research project on youth violence, poverty and inequality. The findings of this project will be used to inform national policy and community projects to help stem the rise of youth violence within the Federation.
In 2007, Mrs. Christopher gained a Bachelor of Science Degree, with specialization in Social Work, from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica and now has plans to pursue a Masters in the near future to further enhance her proposal writing skills. A role model to her son and grandson, this self-motivated, amenable and resilient woman lives by her personal mantra that says, “if something bad happens to you, there’s something good that can come out of it… just move on… keep on living”.
It is achievements and effects of this nature and this scale that deserve recognition by the Jamaican Kittitian (JamKit) Association. The Members of the JamKit Association invite you to applaud the achievements of Mrs. Jacqulin Christopher for her contribution to the Federation in the area of Social Work. Mrs. Christopher, JamKit salutes you.
NB: Mrs. Christopher was one (1) of the five (5) Awardees honoured by the JamKit Association at the Official Launch & Flag Raising Ceremony of its Jamaica 50 SKN Celebrations held on Sunday, 12 August 2012 at the Zion Moravian Church. The plaque recognizing this Award was presented to Mrs. Christopher by the Honourable Marcella Liburd, Minister of Culture and Miss Carol Phillips, President, JamKit Association.