Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has called for a renewed effort at mentoring the young of the society, noting that families should adopt this principle in a meaningful and positive way.
He argued that mentoring is a natural way for all animals, and as such, humans should not allow themselves to be outdone. He also emphasised that mentoring would help to reinforce the social values and moral fabric of the society.
The Governor-General was addressing students and residents of the community of Petersfield, in Westmoreland, following a tour of the Petersfield Association of Clubs community training facility, on May 16. He was in Petersfield as part of his tour of the parishes this year, when the country is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence.
Congratulating the Petersfield Association of Clubs, which represent a coming together of seven community groups, for the excellent community training programmes that they are implementing, the Governor-General said the programmes have rekindled a sense of pride in the community, and renewed confidence and hope among the young and the not so young.
“It is in communities that families raise their children, it is in our communities that the basic social and moral qualities are developed. It is also in our communities that schools provide educational opportunities and help to reinforce social values in our children,” he stated.
The Governor-General underscored the role of the church in communities, noting that it should provide the necessary leadership and Christian ministry, while also helping to reinforce the social and moral values of the society.
“It is proven that communities that have structured development programmes, such as Petersfield, are more likely to have higher rates of achievement among their young people, fewer incidents of crime, lower rates of violence and more sustainable economic activity,” he said.
The Governor-General said that Petersfield is an excellent example of a community that is playing a significant role in the building of Jamaica.
To mark his visit to Petersfield, the Governor-General planted a palm tree in a park named: ‘The Pride of Petersfield’, a small plot of land which was formerly used as a garbage disposal site in the community. It was converted to a community park by the Association of Clubs.
Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. Owen Sinclair, hosted the Governor-General and his wife, Lady Allen, who was also on the tour.