The Jamaica Rastafarian Development Community (JRDC) is a charitable membership organization established in Ethiopia in 1991, by members of the diaspora repatriate community in Shashamane, for the purpose of :
A) representing the collective interest of the community to the authorities;
B) participate with the support of its overseas partners in addressing some of the various developmental needs of the community. The areas of much needed assistance identified are in education, healthcare, housing, agriculture, sports, recreation and social welfare.
The JRDC traces its roots to the JRC (Jamaica Rastafari Community) initiated by Dr. Vernon Carrington Aka Prophet Gad, in 1986.
Although descendants of Africa began arriving from the Caribbean and the USA to take hold of this gift of land in the early 1960s the majority of the members of this repatriate community arrived in Ethiopia shortly after 1974, when the Government of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I was overthrown by the communist Derg regime. The community has survived through those ensuing 17 years of war, civil strife, uncertainty and the challenge of day-to-day survival that engulfed Ethiopia. With the fall of the Derg Regime in 1991, the new government ushered in an era of improved stability with an emphasis on reconstruction and development. In response to the need for a reliable “one voice” community organization in this new era of critical developments, the JRDC was inaugurated with a democratically elected Board of Directors. The organization is registered with the Government of Ethiopia as a local non-governmental organization (NGO) Charity and membership is open to all settlers regardless of sex, age, religion and nationality. In Ethiopia, NGO status is granted on the basis of a clearly defined project-proposal that is accompanied by a letter of support from an overseas partner/sponsor.
The first approved project is the JRDC Kindergarten & Elementary School and the U.S. based Shashamane Foundation is its overseas partner. With the support of the Shashamane Foundation, the JRDC has been engaged in the development and operation of the School since 2000. The JRDC is managed by a Board-of-Directors, consisting of the following persons:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Desmond Martin, President
- Joan Douglas, Vice President
- Lorna Curtis, Secretary
- Sydney Salmon, Treasurer
- Ronald Simmons
- Anthony Lee
- Angela Williams