In Jamaica, Adventist University Wins International Business Model Competition

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) became the winner of the 2018 International Business Model Competition (IBMC) during this year’s event held in Provo, Utah, United States, May 10-11, 2018.

The win is no small feat for NCU Team Beasc Tech in that the IBMC had 5,000 competitors from 500 Universities from 30 countries worldwide. The team was awarded the “Traveling” trophy along with a cash prize of US$30,000.

NCU Business Model teams have dominated the local competition since its inception having won four times consecutively. This year, the NCU teams finished third and fourth locally, but came up winners at the IBMC level, which evaded them in the previous years when they won the local competition.

“We are pleased to know that our students went to Utah and won the prestigious International Business Model Competition,” said Dr. Lincoln Edwards, president of NCU. “It is impressive that the top two spots were won by Jamaican teams, with second place going to the team from the University of the West Indies.”

Jamaicans can feel a sense of pride in the recent achievement, added Edwards. “This victory underscores the fact that our students are bright, creative, and innovative, with the ability to compete with students anywhere.”

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Medical Cadet Corps To Be Revitalized Across the Adventist Church

A historic meeting for the revitalization of the Medical Cadet Corps (MCC) program took place during a special training session held in Levittown, Puerto Rico, from April 30 to May 3, 2018. The meeting provided special training for MCC officers who are currently involved in the program across the North American and Inter-American divisions, as well as initiate other leaders who are interested in reviving the MCC in their regions.

“The MCC program originally helped Adventist servicemen serve according to their conscience,” said Dr. Mario Ceballos, director, World Service Organization–General Conference (WSO-GC). MCC cadets are trained and equipped to provide spiritual comfort, and other services such as first aid during emergency situations, explained Ceballos.

“In today’s world, many countries no longer have a draft, and although we never know when world events could lead to a reinstatement of conscription, it is best to prepare our young adults,” said Ceballos. MCC training also equips cadets, ages 17 and older, to serve in their local communities in times of disaster. “Their assistance during these types of events fosters goodwill with local residents and provides help in time of need.”

History of MCC

The Medical Cadet Corps was originally launched on Jan. 8, 1934 on the Union College campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, under the leadership of Everett Dick, a professor at union and a World War I veteran. The training was the same as that of medics in the U.S. Army, and included close-order drill, Army organizational structure, physical training, military courtesy, camp hygiene, litter drill, and first aid.

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Poultry Medicine Done Right With Gyles

On the quest to make agriculture 'sexy', the Nutramix team, in collaboration with Flair,has reached out to hear the stories of women who are in unique and empowering positions within the field. This week, we introduce Dr Sydonnie Thompson-Gyles, who is possibly the most enthusiastic and cheerful poultry veterinarian on the island.

"I'd like to think I became a vet because it was my calling, this is something I always wanted to do," said Gyles with rosy cheeks and a twinkle in her eyes as she spoke about her passion to work with animals. Gyles, who is an alumnus of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), paid homage to the skill set she obtained from the institution and admits her love for agriculture was fortified with their help. She completed her associate of science degree at CASE and then ventured into veterinary medicine a year later. She applied for the Russian scholarship at Kazan State University for veterinary medicine, where she studied for six years. While attending the university, she noted there was an extreme culture shock. Persons considered her as exotic due to the lack of people of African descent. "It was really strange, different culture and very cold," said Gyles.

FULL PLATE

Being the only poultry veterinarian in Jamaica, Gyles has a lot on her plate but does it efficiently with zeal. As a poultry veterinarian, she visits all the poultry farms across the island. "I visit the hatchery and the processing plant. I pretty much follow the birds from beginning to the end. At the hatchery, I pull blood from them, which gives me a lot of information about their health status and the status of their parents. This helps me to adjust my vaccination programme and to see if they need to be vaccinated against particular disease. From time to time I will swab their organs just to check if our environment is conducive to their development," explained Gyles, as she told Flairabout her routine.

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Are Millennials Suffering From Cyber Addiction?

In the book Connecting to the Net. Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today's Students, a survey of 7,705 college students in the United States revealed the following:

- 97% own a computer;

- 94% own a cellular phone;

- 76% used instant messaging;

- 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing;

- 75% have a Facebook account;

- 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod;

- 90% have had premarital sex.

As we look at the statistics, we recognise that this is no ordinary generation.

Born between the early 1980s and 2000s, their parents are confounded by them, workplaces are baffled by their attitude and work ethics, evangelism strategies are challenged by them, and society is demoralised by their seeming lack of common sense; scant regard for high morals, values and standards; and little or no respect for their elders.

Could it be that their birth into a technological world has rewired their minds and reprogrammed their lives, thus crafting a new and emerging fabric of society?

In 1996, Dr Kimberly Young, in her seminal paper, indicated that computer use meets the criterion for an addiction and, therefore, should be included in the next iteration of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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Leader Brings Distinctly Adventist Voice to International Christian Gathering

The third meeting of the Global Christian Forum, held April 24 to 27 in Bogotá, Colombia, provided an invaluable opportunity to be “salt and light” and to share key Seventh-day Adventist values with a unique audience, says Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist world church. Diop, who was a plenary speaker in the closing session of the event, addressed some 400 Christian leaders from 65 countries who represented a broad range of Christian traditions, including Eastern Orthodox, Evangelicals, Anglicans, and many independent churches.

In his presentation, Diop spoke about the centrality of Jesus Christ in human history. “One of the most fascinating revelations of Scripture is how Jesus embraced the story of the whole human family; how He fulfils our stories,” said Diop. “He came to embrace our destiny in order to defeat death from inside. He came to deliver us from evil. And to do so, he chose to live our story, and our stories.”

The Global Christian Forum provides an informal space for Christians of many different denominations to share information about themselves and to discuss common challenges facing Christians around the world. The group, which has no constitution and makes no decisions, is focused on facilitating open dialogue about shared concerns, such as religious freedom, persecution, and other barriers to mission.

In an interview after the event, Diop said that the presence of Adventists at gatherings such as this is an important part of the work of the General Conference Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department, which is entrusted with the task of making the Adventist Church more visible in the public realm.

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Church prepares for implementation of Child Protection Policy

THE Seventh-day Adventist Church says given the current alarming rate of sexual and other types of abuse of children in Jamaica, it is putting measures in place as it relates to their protection of children through its department of children and adolescents.

A recent release from the church said with that in mind, a seminar titled 'The Establishment of a Child Protection Policy (CPP)' was held at the one of the church's regional headquarters, in Kingston on April 24, 2018, where 52 administrators, pastors, teachers, and guidance counsellors were trained.

“Our main objective of the training is for us to be more active and proactive as it relates to the protection of our children. For far too long we have not been good at implementing the policies of our church and the laws of the country,” Dr Lorraine Vernal, who is the Family, Women and Children and Adolescent Ministries director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is quoted as saying in the release.

According to the church, figures from the Office of the Children's Registry show an upward trend in the number of cases reported for children, mainly female, who were sexually abused for the period 2007- 2015. The church said the figures moved from 121 in 2007 to 3,806 in 2015.

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Adventists want exams set on Sabbath rescheduled for SDA students

Director of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Nigel Coke is upbeat over talks with the minister of education about alternative dates for SDA students whenever examinations fall on the Sabbath.

“We have had communication from anxious and concerned students who have stated that they have exam days on the Sabbath at the end of this semester in May. To that end, we (a team from the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) had a meeting with the minister of education (Senator Ruel Reid) and his team two weeks ago and a proposal is being put forward, and we are expecting a favourable response,” Coke revealed.

He said that “the principle is that there should be no discrimination against students because of their religious beliefs, practices or observances”.

“If exams, field trips, labs, et cetera are timetabled in a manner that infringes a student's right against religious discrimination then, by the principle of accommodation, the educational institution should set and offer an alternate date and time for the exam, field trip, lab, et cetera, that does not infringe the student's right to practise his/her religious belief or observance,” Coke argued.

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Adventist Church in Jamaica Calls for Stand Against Violence and Abuse

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica is calling on its more than 300,000 members, other church groups and the wider society to take a stand against violence and abuse of all kind especially against children and adolescent.

“The victims should be our priority. It cannot be about saving face, it’s about saving lives,” said Dr. Lorraine Vernal, family, women, child and adolescent director for the church in Jamaica as she addressed members of the press during the launch of the Year of Child and Adolescent at the church’s regional headquarters in Kingston on April 24, 2018.

Dr. Lorraine Vernal, family, women, children and adolescent director for the church in Jamaica deliversthe main address on April 24, 2018. Photo by Nigel Coke

“Let us be intentional as parents, teachers and authority figures about learning the difference between abuse and discipline,” said Vernal. “We must break the silence about all types of abuse and report them, even if the perpetrator is a relative, pastor or community leader.”

Vernal stated that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to making its church a safe place for children and adolescents. “We take seriously our responsibility to minimize the risk of child sexual abuse and violence against children in the congregational setting. As leaders we must see attacks on our children as evil and so we must live ethically and pay attention to making our churches and other institutions safe places for the young.”

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No Place For Paedophiles In Church, Says Blaine

"If you know that you have a special attraction to children and in the Church ... , get out and go fix yourself and come back completely converted," child advocate Betty-Ann Blaine has advised paedophiles who, she charged, are attending church mainly to sexually molest children.

Blaine's warning came during her presentation at the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists training seminar titled Establishment of the Child Protection Policy.

"If you are outside, do not come in until you fix yourself. Do not give the Church or Jesus bad name. We have a banner at our churches: zero tolerance for child abuser. One single incident of abuse can affect or tarnish the entire religious community," Blaine said during her address to more than 50 persons comprising pastors, teachers, guidance counsellors, and administrators of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston on Tuesday.

"I am not prepared to tell any parent that their child will not be safe in church or any child that they are not safe in church. I am just explaining that children have a natural capacity for God, so we must embrace, harness, promote, and protect so they can achieve their full God-given potential."

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Adventist church takes a stand against violence, abuse

THE Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica has called on its more than 300,000 members, other church groups and the wider society to take a stand against violence and abuse, especially against children and adolescents.

“The victims should be our priority. It cannot be about saving face, it's about saving lives,” Dr Lorraine Vernal, family, women, child and adolescent director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said yesterday.

She was addressing members of the press during the launch of the 'Year of Child and Adolescent' at the church's regional headquarters in Kingston yesterday.

“Let us be intentional as parents, teachers and authority figures about learning the difference between abuse and discipline. We must break the silence about all types of abuse and report them, even if the perpetrator is a relative, pastor or community leader,” she is quoted as saying in a release from the church.

Vernal stated that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to making its church a safe place for children and adolescents.

“We take seriously our responsibility to minimise the risk of child sexual abuse and violence against children in the congregational setting. As leaders we must see attacks on our children as evil and so we must live ethically and pay attention to making our churches and other institutions safe places for the young,” Vernal said.

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