JIS News

Forty-six participants, mainly young persons from various inner-city communities, graduated yesterday (December 10), from a six-week Youth Leadership Training Course, organized by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC).
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies who addressed the ceremony in downtown Kingston, charged the graduates to become leaders of their individual communities, and in so doing add value to themselves.
“The programme wasn’t just about attendance and passing through.. I want you to understand that when they put leadership in front of this seminar, it is not a joke. It means that you are going to demonstrate capabilities, and you are going to demonstrate new value added, which you did not have before,” he said.
Dr. Davies charged them to put into effect the conflict resolution skills they had been taught, and reminded them that leadership was not about popularity.
“When you go into your communities there are times when you will have to take positions which are not popular, but are right. So leadership is not sampling what everybody else says, then you join in and say that you are leading. Leadership means you are going to assess what is correct, what is right and then make your voice be heard,” he emphasized.
The Minister encouraged the graduates not to look at the communities from where they came, but to look at how far ahead they could get. “Being from the inner city is not a limitation on one’s capability to achieve,” he said, citing the many sporting, musical and cultural persons who originated from such communities.
“Where you are coming from and where you live is not the limitation. The limitation is in one’s head as to how you perceive yourself,” Dr. Davies said.
The Minister said he sincerely hoped that the aspirations, goals and ambitions of all the graduates would be transformed. “I hope each of you can see yourself as someone who has value to add to your community and to the Jamaican society,” he said.
He said the participants were now better informed and certainly more disciplined than when they first entered the programme. “For each of you, this has opened up new doors for you. I sincerely hope that each of you will reassess where you are in life as an individual and as a member of a community,” the Minister said.
Dr. Davies expressed satisfaction at the work being done by the Inner-city Development Committee, chaired by Sameer Younis.
The objectives of the programme are to provide effective leadership for community organizations; to develop competency in individuals to resolve conflicts peacefully in their communities and homes; improve the quality of family life; develop competence in owning and operating a business; and to develop job seeking skills.

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