Just months after calling on all Jamaicans to make a concerted effort to take back the country from the grip of crime and the shroud of negativity, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has initiated an island-wide forum with Justices of the Peace to achieve this goal. The first in a series of consultations took place at the Noel Fraser Auditorium of the West Jamaica Conference in St. James on Monday, April 28, 2014.
Sir Patrick Allen said that each JP has a responsibility to play their part as agents and advocates for change, adding that they should support initiatives that seek to bring about positive change. He highlighted the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence, a merger of his I Believe Initiative and the Governor-General’s Achievement Award Programme (GGAA), as one such programme that has the ability to do this.
“The basis on which you were selected to become Justices of the Peace is proof of the influence you have in your communities. It is from this position of positive influence that I urge all five hundred and seventy six JPs in this parish to become proactive advocates of the transformation of our island nation.”
This transformation Sir Patrick Allen highlighted, must factor in youngsters across Jamaica
, who have been exhibiting an interest in the development of their communities despite their socio-economic circumstances. He urged JPs to be vigilant in selecting these youngsters for the Governor-General’s Achievement Award which is now accepting nominations.
His Excellency stated his belief that youth will become effective nation-builders if they first believe in themselves. “I have every confidence in the capacity of our youth to become effective nation-builders, but they must believe in themselves. We already see them shining in a variety of fields and we must encourage their development and foster their self-confidence”, said The Governor-General.
During the forum, the Justices of the Peace commended the Governor-General for taking time out of his schedule to address these pressing issues. In the question and answer session which followed, the JPs raised a number of concerns including 1) the ongoing support for youngsters who, after undergoing mentorship, will have no other choice but to return to their communities without any sure focus, and 2) the lack of visibility and performance of the JPs in that parish. There was a call for JPs to do more “if we really want to see our country in a better place.”
The programme included performances from Karen Smith, Cindy Lewis and the Success Primary School.