Samara South

Political and Press Support Officer

Part of UK in Jamaica

30th October 2013 Kingston, Jamaica

It all started with a Facebook post…

Last week we gave 7 laptop computers to a basic school in St Elizabeth.

In furthering our public diplomacy objectives, our aim this time around was to engage with rural Jamaica but even more so to further impact the education sector beyond our Chevening scholarships. We decided to solicit the help of our Facebook users via a competition that would locate an early childhood institution in rural Jamaica  in dire need of computers.

About two months after we ended up at the Tryall Early Childhood Institition in St. Elizabeth.

We  received a tremendous outpouring of gratitude from the school. We were greeted by a community of parents, past students, member of parliament and other benefactors. To top off the experience we were treated to a range of Jamaican foods including ackee and Saltfish, Manish Water (which High Commissioner Fitton is yet to try) and other delicacies.

What started as a simple Facebook activity, ended up being direct community engagement  which allowed us to reach out to Jamaicans whom we would not normally be in contact with on a daily basis.

For me it was going home to my roots. For others, it was re affirming the  traditional relationships between the UK and Jamaica. It also allowed us to meet and interact with British Nationals who returned to Jamaica after spending many years working in the UK. Tryall is one of the many communities in Jamaica with deep roots in Brixton, Peckham and Birmingham.

We estimate that there are over 100 thousand British Nationals living in Jamaica and a similar amount visit each year.

I should mention here that providing consular services to British nationals overseas is a huge priority to the High Commission. Using digital platforms such as twitter and facebook, allows us to reach Brits in real time. Recently, for example, our consular team launched a clickbook site where British Nationals are able to make appointments for our services. If you are a British National in need of assistance you can also send us an email at

This outing to rural Jamaica has demonstrated once again that the UK /Jamaica relations are still strong all over Jamaica. We will continue to promote  this relationship if only with a Facebook post.

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6 comments on “It all started with a Facebook post…

  1. Social Media is a very powerful platform in reaching the masses. It’s nice to see the BHC using it to touch the lives of Jamaicans in town and all the way in the country.

    Very nice piece Ms. South.

  2. This is wonderful. I’m pleased to see the BHC in Kingston so deeply engaged. It’s also a great example of how social media engagement can be translated into meaningful offline action.

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About Samara South

Samara is the Political and Press Support Officer in Kingston. She is also part of the Public Diplomacy Team as the web editor and also helps to manage the High…

Samara is the Political and Press Support Officer in Kingston. She is also part of the Public Diplomacy Team as the web editor and also helps to manage the High Commission’s social media engagement. Before joining the FCO in 2011 Samara worked as a reporter. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling and volunteering.

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