JAS Social Gathering at Les Vaudois

On the 24th February as we made our way to Le Vaudois in Lausanne, we were wondering if we had betrayed our beloved green gold and black flag by venturing out for a social event in the mid-winter. Our natural “keep warm at any cost” mental state was fighting the adventurous nature in us. However, the thought of sharing time and laughter with our fellow Jamaicans kept us going.
We arrived at Place de la Riponne, and saw the welcoming green awning of Le Vaudois calling out to us from across the street. Of course, we’d arrived for the 4pm event a little later than we planned, but ah suh it go, right? Once there, in true Jamaican fashion, there was a wide representation from every age group, and as the afternoon progressed, it felt so much like a home away from home.
The room we had was what they call a “carnotzet” in Vaud, and being underground we felt cosy and protected. The meeting was soon officially started with Warren Wallace moderating, and the Jamaica Association in Switzerland was presented by Rashid Hall, our president. The objectives of our association for the year were outlined. One of the successful charity projects in Jamaica was highlighted, and we enjoyed the happy and grateful photos of faces from home that we were able to assist. This was the White Hall Primary School in St. Thomas where we installed a water tank as per their request for assistance, and this will help them to carry on with their classes after heavy rains as they will now have access to clean water. Even these small projects make a difference in the lives of our fellow Jamaicans.
To follow, we were delighted to hear the presentation on “Diaspora” from Quam Byll-Cataria. Quam is a fitness coach and has his own business. Now Quam is a quiet storm, underneath that cool veneer, we learned that he has a wealth of positivity and he was glad to impart to us that there are “so-suh” opportunities waiting for us in the Swiss culture. You have something unique to offer! And doing business is Switzerland is a serious thing, as they often have business top of mind and a good level of respect for earning a decent living. Quam has truly got a good grasp of his multicultural identity and is proud to encourage and share.
Under the subject of “Beyond – UN” we were lucky to get a veteran of the system run us through the general structure of the United Nations. Beverly Byfield is a smooth orator, and showed us how huge the UN network really is, naming some of the principal agencies that are offshoots of the main organisation. Some of the history of the organisation evolving from the League of Nations was contextualised, and the importance for this entity succeeding where the League of Nations failed was emphasized. Peace is indeed fragile and must be protected, as well as human rights. One take away from this presentation is that despite the systems in place, minority nations are still under-represented in the UN. Our diverse point of view is necessary to make this system speak for everyone. This is valuable information to share – encourage your friends and family to seek positions!
Nasser Johnson gave the closing remarks, and he was also responsible for the technical set-up where we were able to see the internet pages displayed, and hear some music from home. Mario Detraz walked around taking photographs for our website. The lead project manager was Warren, who organized the event. A good time was had by all – thank you Warren!

Samuel Durrleman a young Jamaican star in Switzerland

We’re delighted to share another amazing story, highlighting the talent of a young Jamaican boy living in Switzerland.

His name is Samuel Durrleman. He is 10 years old and was born from a Jamaican mother, Stephanie, and a French/Swiss father, Mathieu. Stephanie Durrleman was born and raised in Kingston. She attended Priory before moving to Paris at age 16 to learn French. Further justifying Paris’ title of city of love, Stephanie met her husband in the French capital and the rest is history. They have three children together and have been residing in Switzerland for 25 years. The Durrleman family currently resides in Geneva and Samuel has made the Jamaican community proud with his achievements yes, but mostly with his maturity and commitment to excellence at this young age.

Samuel Durrleman photo having funSamuel’s mother, being a linguist, wanted her son to learn several languages, and therefore had him change schools to enrol in Ecole Moser where they provide a trilingual program in French, German and English. It wasn’t easy at first, adapting to a new environment and trying to make friends.

However, life has a way to help to find a path in every situation. It so happens that Ecole Moser’s facilities provided table tennis tables, and Samuel thought sport might be a good way to help him socialize with his new schoolmates. He started playing table tennis and eventually joined the school tournament, and…won!

“Mummy, you need to buy a large Lindt chocolate bar for my friend…I beat him in the school tournament” Samuel said to his mom. What an inspiring story, and this is just the beginning!

Samuel had found something he liked. He wanted to play more table tennis and therefore his parents signed him up in a table tennis club in Geneva. He started practicing seriously. He even turned down playdates with his schoolmates because he wanted to practice. What an amazing level of maturity and commitment at such a young age!Samuel Durrleman playing tennis

Eventually, the club signed him up in a pre-selection competition. It was a long tournament, over three hours. When Samuel’s mom came for the last hour she was surprised to see all these people cheering for her at-the-time 9-year-old son! He had won the pre-selection and had therefore qualified for the next stage! Stephanie could hardly believe it, but Samuel tapped into the power of the universe, that will help you achieve anything in life you put your mind to.

Samuel went on to compete in three other competitions, to finally become the player representing Canton Geneva at the Swiss Final of the Gubler School Trophy in Schöftland (Canton Aargau in the Swiss German part)

Can you guess what happened next?
Samuel won the Swiss Final

Yes, exactly! Samuel won the Swiss Final of the Gubler School Trophy in his age category! Amazing!

And it doesn’t end here. Samuel has made many friends at his new school and is now playing competitive table tennis. Currently he sometimes has to play by level and not by age, meaning that now at age 10 it can happen that he is confronted with 16 year-olds! Furthermore, Samuel was invited to train at the national sport center in Macolin, which is located in canton Bern. This is where future Swiss champions train, so look out for Samuel Durrleman in the coming years, he’s set up a bright future ahead for himself.

What a beautiful, powerful and inspirational story. Here’s the take away for this month: no matter your current situation and circumstances, the universal forces will make a way for you if you only believe. Keep moving forward, keep faith, and doors will open up for you!

This year’s first votation will take place on Sunday

Switzerland is considered to be one of the most democratic countries in the world and the population votes as often as four times a year on matters of all sorts. This year’s first votation will take place on Sunday, March 4 with two federal items (in addition to the federal items, some cantons, such as canton Vaud, also have cantonal items to submit to the cantonal population for a vote on the same day).


New in Switzerland World Economic Forum

What’s new in Switzerland ?

Great news ! The American channel CNN is launching a new business news channel exclusively for the Swiss community. CNNMoney Switzerland will the first national channel fully in English.
As stated in their press release, “CNNMoney Switzerland will be the go-to destination for Switzerland’s professional community to follow business news. The channel’s high-end audience will consist of senior leaders, CEOs and influencers based in Switzerland. Lifestyle content about high-end leisure activities that appeal to executive audiences will complement the Swiss-focused content.” Was stated in the company’s official press.
See full article release here Click me.
The channel will officially launch at the 2018 World Economic Forum held in Davos on January 24, 2018.
CNNMoney Switzerland will be available on Switzerland’s TV operators, on their website as well as on social media platforms. Offices are located in Zurich and Geneva and a new one will be opened in Gland in late 2018.

What’s new back home ?

National Museum Jamaica (NMJ) is the national agent for the collection, preservation and documentation of Jamaica’s material culture. The mission of National Museum Jamaica is to increase knowledge and promote appreciation of Jamaica’s material heritage through public education and community outreach, research, community-based museums, special exhibitions, and the collection and conservation of historic artefacts.
For further reading please see this link – > National Museum Jamaica

In other news the Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith this morning revealed that the Government plans to roll out the national identification system in September 2019. This can help crime-fighting in Jamaica which is needed. Please see full article on a letter to the editor of the pros and cons of the ID card.