• Honourable Custodes
  • Abrahim Simmonds, GGPE National Coordinator
  • IBI Ambassadors
  • Ambassadors and Guests joining on the various on-line platforms
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our third IBI Ambassadors’ Annual General Meeting. It has been two years since we met in this fashion because of the challenges of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we recover from this health crisis, it is important that we begin to prioritize the work that needs to be done to empower our young people, foster quality education, and build resilient families. These are the goals of the I Believe Initiative.

The IBI Ambassadors are at the core of our work within the Programme. Year after year, we observe our IBI Ambassadors on the frontlines, serving their communities in pursuit of using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica’.  Many of you have initiated projects and even established organizations that are dedicated to strengthening the capacity of our young people to tap into their inner resources and become the best versions of themselves. Others prefer to rally people and resources for these interventions intended for national reach.

In 2021 the IBI marked a significant milestone in the celebration of its 10th Anniversary under the theme: ‘A Decade of Action.’  The   Anniversary Magazine highlighted the journey of our Programme since 2011 and presents a roadmap for the work we hope to achieve in the coming years.

I am grateful to the Custodes, the Ambassadors, and sponsors who ‘bought into’ our vision for the IBI and who must be credited for the growth and outstanding success we have achieved over the last 10 years.

Four years ago, I met with the IBI Ambassadors who crafted the blueprint for the IBI National Coordinating Committee that is tasked with leading our growing corps of IBI Ambassadors. Last year we welcomed 29 new Ambassadors, bringing our tally to 340.

I would like to thank Mrs. Antoinette Davis and all the members of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) for their service over the last two years and look forward to welcoming the newly-elected members of the Committee. Special thanks also to our former Project Officer and IBI Ambassador Miss Tricia Grier, who led the process of creating the Terms of Reference for the NCC.

Last year, the GGPE Secretariat said goodbye to the Executive Secretary Miss Tómori Tomlinson and the Project Officer Mr. Alex Sterling, who both gave exemplary service to the GGPE.

Both Tómori and Alex remain IBI Ambassadors, and I would like to thank them for their service to the Programme and wish them well in their future endeavours.

Our IBI Ambassadors continue to do exceptionally well and are leading in areas of academics and youth and community leadership:

  • IBIAmbassador Mr. Kawaine Anderson from St. Mary has an inspiring story of hard work and resilience. His story teaches that dedication to passion and humility can go a long way. Kawaine started his academic journey as a student at HEART Trust NTA and completed all major certifications related to Hospitality Management. He entered the IBI family through the Summer of Service Scholarship, which provided an avenue for him to study at the University of Technology. Kawaine has maintained a straight ‘A’ profile over the last two years, and he has won more than ten academic awards at UTECH. Later this year, he will venture to Canada to participate in an exchange programme designed for the most outstanding students in his field. We are very proud of you Kawaine, we thank the Grace Kennedy Foundation for investing in your future and we encourage you to remain steadfast on your path of excellence. May your story and your work be an inspiration to many others, especially those seeking to participate in our SOS Programme this year.
  • Other IBI Ambassadors such as:
  • Sandrene Hill Sherwood
  • Natalie Irving Mattocks
  • Romario Simpson
  • Peter and Lisa Walker
  • Reverend Annmarie Richards
  • Miss Santana Morris

And many others are leading projects within their various communities under the pillars of ‘youth’, ‘family’ and ‘education’.

  • Last year, Drs. Peter and Lisa Walker, past students of St. Mary High School, living in America, donated over 60 computers to their alma mater’s e-learning centre, which was recently ravaged by fire. The renovation of the school’s computer lab was facilitated by the IBI through this partnership.
  • IBI Ambassador Serika Sterling donated oxygen concentrators valued at 3 million JMD to the Ministry of Health. The initiative was brought to fruition through Serika’s ‘Preemi Foundation’ and other partners. The 15 machines were distributed across the island to service the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the respective hospitals.

[Charge to IBI Ambassadors]:

  • As IBI Ambassadors you are the champions of the I Believe Initiative. Today, I want to encourage you to continue working closely with us to bridge new ideas and resources that can help to scale all our interventions to even more Jamaicans.
  • Let me use this opportunity to thank you all and encourage you to stay true to the commitment you made on the day you were inducted as an IBI

This morning you will hear from Mr. Simmonds about the many plans that we have for this year. It is my hope that you will continue to lend your support and expertise to the design and implementation of these initiatives.

Thank you.