Governor-General His Excellency the Most Honourable Patrick Allen is to host his annual Youth Consultative Conference on Wednesday, November 6  at the Montego Bay Convention Centre under the theme “ End Human Trafficking”. The conference is held under His Excellency’s ‘I Believe’ initiative, which takes a targeted approach at addressing young people and providing a platform for them to voice their opinions, dreams and visions for themselves and Jamaica.

Delegates from last year’s conference chose the theme as they believe it to be a  key issue plaguing the Jamaican socio economic landscape. The objectives of this year’s conference are to increase public awareness, to discourage trafficking in persons (TIP) activities, warn vulnerable citizens, build capacity among stakeholders, train and sensitize Jamaican youth to identify victims of human trafficking.

His Excellency will also use this opportunity to inspire the youth to believe in their ability to do more and make an impact. This is in keeping the view expressed at his inauguration that, ‘I believe that there is nothing that is wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica’.

The ‘ I Believe Initiative’ (IBI) was launched in 2011 and is one component of the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence (GGPE). The service-oriented programme for youth, focuses its projects and activities on family, youth and education; with a mission  ‘To create pathways through partnerships and to promote programmes that restore hope, belief, and sound values in Jamaica’s families, youth and education.’

Two New IBI Ambassadors Inducted

International Motivational Executive Coach, Dr Lisa Walker and her husband, Dr Peter Walker, Senior Director at Visa, are the newest I Believe Initiative (IBI) Ambassadors.  They were inducted by IBI Patron, Sir Patrick Allen during the Panel Discussion for Campus Ministries Day which The Governor-General hosted at King’s House on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

The Walkers, were guest presenters on a panel discussion for students from colleges and universities across the Island and give useful insight on motivation, planning, and achieving goals. The Panel Discussion was sponsored by the Adventist Laypersons Service Industries (ASI) and the I Believe Initiative (IBI).

The National Coordinator for The Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE), Sonja Simms, met with the Walkers the days prior and explained the concept and goals of the IBI. At that meeting which characterized the ASI weekend of activities, Simms introduced the Walkers to several of the IBI Ambassadors who shared  their life transformation projects. The Walkers immediately identified various areas where they could provide support to the IBI.

Dr Lisa Walker has committed to provide financial assistance, from her annual Potluck, which she will change to a fundraising event, as well as computer software and hardware.  Dr Peter Walker, who is a member of the US National Council of Back Engineers has promised to secure internships for emerging engineers through the IBI.

Dr Lisa Walker, who is a Master Certified Executive Coach, holds a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Texas, Austin where she is a faculty member.  She provides training in Emotional, Social and Conversational Intelligence for leaders.

Dr Peter Walker holds a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brown University. He is currently a Senior Director at Visa and leads the Company’s next generation Artificial Intelligence Platform. He was the Cofounder of JamKazam, a social media interactive platform that enable musicians to discover, connect and play live and coordinated across the Internet.

The Walkers, who are originally from St Mary, spoke about rising from humble beginnings to being globally recognized as leaders in their respective fields.  They have been ‘giving back’ to Jamaica through sponsoring four students annually to pursue  their tertiary education., providing annual financial support for the  Maranatha Outreach project in Africa, and are  now planning to assist with refurbishing the computer laboratory at St Mary’s High School, which was recently destroyed by fire.

The induction of the Walkers bring to over 250 the number of IBI Ambassadors who have been indicted since the Programme started in 2011.  Ambassadors are located in Jamaica, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Governor-General congratulates IBI Ambassadors

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has congratulated the four (4) I Believe Initiative Ambassadors who are among 19 Jamaicans recently awarded the 2019 Chevening Scholarships to study in the United Kingdom. The Ambassadors visited King’s House on a Courtesy Call on Friday, August 23.

Observing that obtaining the Scholarships came with great academic input and involvement in social and volunteer activities, The Governor-General told the students he was very proud of their achievements.  He expressed confidence that they would build capacity and return to Jamaica stronger to give back more.

The scholarship recipients paid tribute to the impact of the IBI Programme on their lives in generating a passion to help other young people improve themselves.  Each of the Ambassadors is involved in a youth-related project and they gave The Governor-General a brief update on the current status of their activities.

Najuequa Barnes, an educator, will pursue an MSc degree in International Development at the University of Manchester. Her IBI project focused on low-income communities where there were marginalized young men, many of whom men were fatherless and school dropouts. The outreach programme assisted in their enrollment in skills-training programmes, and they were assigned mentors to assist with their development. Miss Barnes said there were encouraging responses from parents who saw positive behavioural changes in their sons.

Dyane Haughton, who is an information Technology Security Analyst at the Bank of Jamaica, will pursue the M.Sc. degree in Digital Business and Innovation at the University of Westminster with an emphasis on  Forensics, Cyber Security, and Centralized Government Packages.  Mr. Haughton is a PhD Candidate at the University of the West Indies, specializing in General Building and Financial Debt Management.

Mr. Haughton is the chair for IBI – St James, where he recently completed a summer project in the ZOSO areas in Montego Bay.  This included a night football competition between members of the community members against members of the Police Force. He said the event created great camaraderie between both parties.

He also plans to assist young men in the communities to engage in HEART Programmes and received certification. His goal is to channel the young men’s intellectual skills towards positive things instead of participating in negative activities.

Tishauna Mullings, a social entrepreneur, will study Development Administration and Planning at the University College of London.  Miss Mullings, who is a Life Coach, wants to provide educational opportunities in her home Parish of St Thomas.  She is the founder of the annual Little Genius Competition that seeks to develop good values and social awareness in children.

Abrahim Simmonds, a technical officer for the USAID-LINKAGES project, will pursue a M.Sc. degree in Health Informatics at the Swansea University in Wales. Mr. Simmonds is the Youth Representative on the Board of The Governor-General Jamaica Trust and is chairman of the Information Technology and Communication Committee.

The Ambassadors assured Sir Patrick that they had made the necessary arrangements and the programmes would continue while they were away.  The Governor-General wished the Ambassadors well in their studies and said he looked forward to the increased contribution they would make on their return to Jamaica