JULY 30, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls:


A very good afternoon to you all!

I bring you warm greetings from the Governor-General who, much as he would have loved to be with you this afternoon, has a very tight schedule which demands his presence in the Capital today. He has asked that I convey best wishes for a successful launch of the “I Believe” Medical Complex and for the needed resources to transform this Centre into the state of the art medical facility to which you aspire.

I am delighted to be with you for the formal opening of the “I Believe” Medical Complex, which is a dream come true, not only for the Spring Village community but for those of us who also believe in this community. This Complex proves what can be achieved when you dare to dream, pursue that dream with determination and are so enthusiastic about it, that others are led to support you for the achievement of that dream.

This was one of the reasons why the Governor-General was pleased to declare this community an “I Believe” Village. He was impressed by the way you used your own initiative to craft the solutions to the problems which you identified in Spring Village. You did not sit around bemoaning your lot in life, but you got together and gave your time, your talent and your encouragement to the actions on which you had agreed. When resources from your Jamaican partners and friends proved inadequate for the ambitious project, you appealed to a wonderful Missions group, The Jamaica Missions of Minnesota,in the United States. They themselves found your approach attractive and your commitment inspiring. Therefore, representatives spent several months working side by side with community residents to convert containers into this beautiful, well-designed building.  Let us give a round of applause for Mr. Larsen and his devoted team!

I also acknowledge and thank Mr. Robert Levy, Mr. Christopher Levy and Jamaica Broilers for the consistency of their support for this community, much of which was built by former employees of his company. Jamaica Broilers have not forgotten the way their workers contributed to the Company’s growth and despite the challenging economic times, they have maintained their financial support for the development projects designed by the Spring Village Development Foundation. Mr. Levy is therefore deeply respected and loved here, with good reason.

The “I Believe” Initiative is pleased to be a partner in the further advancement of Spring Village and is grateful that all the partners have agreed to name this the “I Believe” Medical Complex. This is testimony to the fact that they all share the conviction of the Governor-General that “There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.” They agree that a motivated community working together to achieve a better quality of life is an aspect of what is right with Jamaica. They see in Spring Village, as we do, an example of collaboration toward self-reliance, which is deserving of being replicated throughout Jamaica.

The IBI commends the Spring Village Development Foundation for its commitment to wellbeing of residents in this community. The Foundation, under the able leadership of Mr. Randy Finnikin, remains faithful to its Mission Statement:  “To empower the residents of Spring Village to achieve self-reliance in order to improve their educational, spiritual, social, economic and environmental wellbeing”.  Residents of this and adjoining communities have benefited from the vocational training which is offered here and the Foundation continues to be a ray of hope for many.

On Friday, we shall be pleased to welcome Mr.Finnikin to King’s House where Sir Patrick will be presenting to representatives of three communities computers which have been donated to the “I Believe” Initiative. As you might know, the IBI works through partnerships and we are very happy that LIME has collaborated with us to establish three free WiFi Centres, one of which is right here at Spring Village. The Chinese Embassy partnered with us for the acquisition of computers which Sir Patrick will present to these centres. Our expectation is that residents will not only use them for building their skills, but will also protect them against theft and vandalism. In the same way, I encourage you to value this Complex and all its furniture and equipment. Each of you should pledge to guard and use them carefully so that they may long be of good service to you.

Let me also thank the Ministry of Health, represented here by Mr. Littleton Tanna Shirley, for their partnership through the provision of professional health services. I welcome the team of doctors, dentists, nurses and other health care providers who have been assigned to serve here and wish Nurse Tameka Williamson every success as she administers this Complex.

As we stand on the brink of Emancipation Day and our 51st Independence Anniversary, I encourage everyone to reflect on how you can help build a better Jamaica, one life, one village at a time. You in Spring Village are already on the right path. Believe in yourselves and in your capacity to be good agents for change, helping to foster the development which you long for in this community.

I urge you the adults, men and women, to protect and nurture every child in keeping with the good old African adage that “It takes a Village to raise a child”. I also encourage you, young women and men, stay in school! Learn all you can so that you may prepare for decent well-paid jobs or establish your own business. I appeal to the men of this community to be exemplary role models, good fathers who will work diligently and creatively to provide for their families and build a better Jamaica. To all of you, I say Emancipate yourselves from the slavery to the bad habits and attitudes which tie you down and thwart your progress! Be strong and be courageous! Whatever the difficulty, believe in your God-given potential to succeed and keep pressing on toward your goal!

Let this “I Believe” Medical Complex be an enduring reminder of the power of believing in and working towards a dream!

It is now my distinct pleasure to cut the ribbons and declare the Spring Village “I Believe” Medical Complex officially open.