Amashika Lorne, 30, a community leader and Communications Specialist, has received the Points of Light Award from the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Points of Light program.
Lorne is the creator of the free coloring book for children “Chat Tu Mi & Colour,” which is designed to encourage a bilingual consciousness in people and to help with transmitting Jamaican Patois culture from one generation to another. Over 1.5 million readers have obtained her book to date through a partnership with the Jamaica Observer newspaper and online workshops. The workshops, which were available from January to May of 2021, attracted more than 250 participants each month. Lorne also donated activity packs to school groups and vulnerable communities. She continues her efforts to preserve and document Jamaica’s history and culture for future generations.
Lorne expressed surprise at receiving the Points of Light Award and said she was humbled by being recognized in this way. She noted that the idea of giving back to others had been ingrained in her from an early age and that she considers it a blessing to be able to make a positive impact on children during the time of sustained isolation required to stem the spread of COVID-19. Lorne also said she had a deep sense of national pride realizing that her efforts have had an effect on hundreds of Jamaica’s young people in a manner that engaged and uplifted them while giving them a sense of patriotism and appreciation for the country’s culture.
She described her coloring book as the end product of her vision: a child-friendly way to preserve and document some of the intangible parts of Jamaica’s culture, including its proverbs and meanings. She said she will continue to move forward in advocating for Jamaica’s patois language to be recognized nationwide along with English. Lorne believes if you are passionate about something, dedicated to your goal, and have a strong support system, “results will come.”
On her Facebook page, Lorne posted, “I am the most recent recipient of the Points of Light Award. Although this is the 207th round, I am the 3rd Jamaican to have received same. I’d like to thank the British High Commission for the recognition of my work especially with the workshops and activities that I’ve been doing with my book ‘Chat Tu Mi & Colour.’” Accompanying the post is a photo of Lorne with Judith Slater, the new British High Commissioner to Jamaica.
Slater described Lorne’s list of community projects as “really impressive,” noting the challenges imposed on projects by the COVID-19 pandemic. The High Commissioner also cited Lorne’s focus on preserving Jamaican culture as an essential element in her work that enhances the nation’s reputation around the world as “vibrant, dynamic, and creative.” “She is a shining example of all that is good about Jamaica, and I hope the award will inspire others to emulate her.” The emphasis Amashika places on preserving culture is also a standout trait, and something which can only help to enhance Jamaica’s global reputation as a vibrant, dynamic and creative nation.”
Points of Light refer to outstanding volunteers who work to make a change in their communities. The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister recognizes an inspiring volunteer every weekday with the Daily Points of Light Award. Points of Light was established in 1990 by the United States President George H.W. Bush, and the UK program was developed in partnership with the US program, launching in 2014.
Photo Source – Amashika Lorne