Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Allen, wife of Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, congratulated the First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union for launching the ‘FHC Foundation’ on Tuesday December 10 at its training facility in Kingston.
Lady Allen said that it was symbolic that the FHC, which is a merger of Churches Cooperative Credit Union and the GSB Credit Union, was established on Emancipation Day in 2012 as this merger created a larger platform for the financial institution to offer products and services to members enabling their financial freedom. She said that the institution has now signaled its intention to make the greatest investment ever: an investment in the youth and future of Jamaica.
“If we agree that the future of Jamaica depends on the youth, then it is reasonable to expect that, as a society, we must invest our time and our resources in them. We have to create more opportunities for our young people,” said Lady Allen.
The mandate of the FHC Foundation is to promote the development of Jamaica’s youth, in particular disadvantaged children and young people, through education, sports and community involvement, thus creating opportunities for growth and therefore advance nation building.
Her Excellency welcomed the intention of the programme and the objectives it hoped to attain by providing assistance to young people in their pursuit of economic opportunities. She noted that those who benefitted from the opportunity to acquire technical and social skills, would still need assistance to chart new courses for their personal upward mobility.
Lady Allen stated that the concept behind the FHC Foundation was also at the heart of other programmes, including that of the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative. She said that the programme shared with the foundation the realization that investing in the youth of Jamaica could help to make the country the regional technological hub. This view is shared by other entities such as the World Bank, that believe the country could become this advanced.
“I urge the young people who will be touched by this programme to take advantage of the opportunity it will afford them to realize their dreams for themselves, their families and their communities,” concluded Lady Allen.
The Foundation presented the Renald Mason Scholarship and the Oswald Thorbourne Scholarships, valued at $1.5 million, to students currently attending universities across Jamaica. In addition, Bellevue Hospital received a $500,000 donation.