Governor General Sir Patrick Allen on Thursday (November 23,2017) pinned 37 I Believe Initiative (IBI) Ambassadors to continue empowering communities through voluntary programmes to impact family, youth and education.
In a ceremony held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, Sir Patrick Allen commended the Ambassadors and encouraged them to continue on their mission to restore hope, belief, and wholesome values through their various initiatives.
“You are the ones who will make the difference and bridge the gap. You, our Ambassadors, you are going to learn the language of another generation and build bridges to connect and help each other to appreciate and understand the language and the circumstances of others,” he said.
The Governor-General also charged the Ambassadors to use their elevated position to place focus on helping to strengthen the nation family. “I implore you to see this recognition not as an award but as a noble call to even greater service. There's so much to be done in our country for our children, our youth, to combat abuse, trafficking and crime and violence,” he said.
“We realise there are many struggles being faced by families, and we see this as our response to that urgent call for help to build healthy families, because the state of the family is the state of the nation, The Governor-General continued.
He also revealed that, “our parenting programme has to be revamped and rebranded and placed back on stream. We will do that with a new name, 'Parenting Now'”.
Sir Patrick Allen further expressed that he was pleased with the activities undertaken by the previous bath of Ambassadors and is looking forward to the projects to be implemented by the newly installed youth representatives.
Six project were presented for special endorsement by the IBI. Those projects are the “Inner-City Quiz: Turning Inner-Cities into WINNER cities” by Mr. Keenan Falcnor and Miss Mahailla Ricketts, “I Shine” project by Miss Tasha Gay Campbell, “Alternatives for Juvenile Remandees and Offenders in Jamaica” by Mr. Dwayne Gutzmer, “123-Apollo’s Blue Print Commission” by Miss Olivia Derrett and the “Life More Abundant” by Roxanne Wanliss-McKnight.
Executive Director of Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN) Alex Sterling, who was also installed, said: “I feel honoured to be working with the Governor General's programme. I've been working with them for a few years now through my organisation, JAYECAN, and I am really honoured now to be a part of the initiative. I look forward to working with the other ambassadors for this year.”
The IBI is an arm of the Governor General's Programme for Excellence. It is a values based programme which was launched in 2011 to motivate and inspire youth to believe in themselves, achieve their potential, and to give service to their country. Since the launch, nearly 250 ambassadors have been inducted.