The Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has issued a challenge to the country to seek to recapture the “things that money cannot buy.”
“I think we can all agree that in our rush to modernisation, and modernise we must, we did not emphasise and safeguard, as much as we should, some of the basic values that define us as a nation,” he said.
He made the statement as he launched the National Transformation Programme (NTP), at King’s House, Wednesday (July 29). The programme has been branded, Fresh Start Jamaica, and aims to “mobilise, co-ordinate and energise a process of positive renewal for the Jamaican people, by the Jamaican people.”
Fresh Start is a non-partisan initiative and is a partnership of the state, church, private sector and civil society. The NTP’s focus is on moral, social and economic interventions and the inculcating of 12 select national core values and attitudes necessary for individual prosperity, community development and sustainable growth of the national economy.
To achieve its aims, the NTP will engage a comprehensive communication programme to bombard the nation with value based messages, to give hope and transform the way people think. It will also develop a technology-based co-ordination programme to facilitate networking among the social agencies and players involved in the transformation process. As a third strategy, the NTP will also engage in formative and summative evaluation to ensure that the programme remains on track.
The Governor-General urged all Jamaica to take part in the programme and embrace its mission.
“Where you can complement or adapt to your situation to make it work in your organisation, do not hesitate to do so. It is better to modify it to your environment, or adapt the areas that you can do, than to ignore the document or the initiative in its entirety,” he stated.
NTP National Director, the Rev. Al Miller, said he felt the nation was about to enter its “finest hour”, but warned that the process of transformation was not easy.
“No single partner can fund the exercise. It will demand the contribution, from all of us, of time, our talent, our resources and our prayers of faith,” he declared.
“This is our country, no one is going to fix it for us; we must fix it ourselves,” he added.
Reverend Miller said partners from various sectors have already signed up and are ready to work. The Secretariat is already in place and the Government has already shown support for and commitment to the NTP.
During the launch the NTP was endorsed by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, who cautioned that the transformation would not come about miraculously, but was a process requiring the input of all Jamaicans.
There were also endorsements from the private sector, church representatives and civil society.
The NPT operates out of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and came about as a result of the perceived continuous decline of morals among Jamaicans.
The NTP Strategic Document, which is expected to guide the transformation, was developed out of over 150 consultations across Jamaica.