Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to working with the voluntary sector in shaping the future of the country.
He said that Jamaica is at a critical juncture in its history where “all hands are needed” to take the country to “where we know we can go”.
He noted that strong partnerships involving Governments, private sector and the voluntary sector are the things that are needed right across the region.
“We need these kinds of partnerships to leverage the incredible talents and skills… and resources. We need this to make Jamaica a better place,” he said. “Volunteerism is an important part of national development,” the Prime Minister added.
He was addressing the opening of the Kiwanis Eastern Canada and the Caribbean’s three-day Convention at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, on May 17.
Emphasising the role of the voluntary sector, Mr. Holness said that hardly anything of significance can be accomplished without its support.
“Not because it is a philanthropic endeavour; not because it is voluntary… that doesn’t mean that it is free. What it means is that someone chooses to absorb the cost so that those who are in need can benefit. It is the ultimate expression of selflessness,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister noted that the Kiwanis Club has mastered the art of volunteerism, leaving an indelible mark on societies across the world.
He said the organisation’s commitment to service is being felt throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica, especially in social and community-related programmes.
Mr. Holness said it would be impossible to put a value on what the Kiwanis Club has managed to do over the years in Jamaica, noting that “the millions of lives that you have touched has not gone unnoticed”.
“I would have seen basic schools… infant schools being repaired. I would have seen the health fairs and the number of students being assisted with scholarships,” he noted.
The Prime Minister further cited the valuable leadership training provided from as early as primary school through the Kiwanis Builders Club, and in high school through the Key Club.
“You have given opportunities to our people in both social and human capital development,” he said.
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