Rewriting Our Stories


Gary Brown

Morning everyone. My name is Gary Brown. I’m the organization’s Support Service Coordinator/IT Manager. Before I go off boring you with what it is that I do. I would like to extend a word of encouragement. For some of us, waking up in Jamaica is the harsh reality we have to come to grip with. I know it is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it’s down right hard and trialing, especially when we’re lacking the crucial support we need to bounce back. However, I implore that we don’t look at it as a damning situation, but an opportunity to rewrite out stories. Beef up our stories and thicken the plot.

What am I getting at. I remember sitting in an Alternative To Violence class in Oneida, and the facilitator, one of my Muslim brother name Akil gave us an exercise. The exercise was to list of 10 things that we’re strong at, and 10 things we’re weak at, and then have us work on that list until our weakness became strong. My greatest weakness at that point, was that I barely new how to read and write. I would stumbled on the pronunciation…and we all know how that is, when you can’t pronounce a word it’s difficult for you to spell it. This was my situation. So now I’m faced with challenging my self, because I hated the fact that I could barely read and write, and I abhor that others knew about it. What I started doing was to take 10 words per day that I didn’t know from the dictionary, learn them and use them in sentences. Within months I noticed my vocabulary have improved and I started recognizing words before I’m actually there. I developed such an affinity with words that I started writing, songs, plays, books, and screenplay.

The reception I was hoping for  when I got here weren’t there. However, the fire in me haven’t waned. I’m constantly beefing up my character, and rewriting the main plot in my story. Recently I was entrusted with maintaining the organization website, but because of the platform it was created on, it posed a challenge. I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted to see. So I was tasked to create a bolg page for the organization…and wah-lah. I did. Which now gives me the confident that yeah, I can rebuild the organization’s website if it deem the practical thing to do.

My point is this, never be afraid to recreate, rewrite, edit and rewrite again if it is what it takes to ensure our brighter tomorrow. Each one of us is unique in our own rights. So it’s up to us to tap into ourselves and bring out that fire in us and light a blazing trail for those to come after us follow. We can achieve this individually or we can come together collectively and be the force that change the way society look at us as involuntary  return migrants (IRM).

In essence, be the author of your very own story. Bless!

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The National Organization of Deported Migrants {NODM} is a not for profit organization that was established to assist deported migrants to adjust to their new lives in Jamaica. Our operations staff is made up entirely of deported men and women who fully understand the challenges and difficulties arising from deportation. Following the official launch in October 2010 at the University of the West Indies, the organization has partnered with the British High Commission Jamaica Office, (BHC) the International Organization for Migration, (IOM) the Ministry of National Security (MNS) and several other government agencies and NGO's to provide deported persons with practical real life assistance in their effort to reintegrate and resettle in society.   Board of Directors Our Board of Directors is comprised of noteable Jamaican citizens and provides oversight to the Executive body.   Operations Team Our day-to-day activities are managed by deported persons, all of whom are able and willing to provide advice and support derived from their wealth of experience, expertise and first-hand knowledge on the issues and challenges associated with deportation.  

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