National Director of the National Transformation Programme (NTP), Rev. Al Miller, has suggested that the performance of Jamaica’s athletes at last week’s World Championships in Berlin, Germany should become a catalyst for a fresh start for the country.
“They being our athletic ambassadors have again awakened and electrified the Jamaican spirit, the true spirit of Jamaica, demonstrating to the world our ability, our capacity to excel and overcome the challenges that we face,” he said.
Rev. Miller said he is calling for Jamaicans to join with the nation’s athletes in showing the world what a true Jamaican looks like.
He told journalists at the media launch of the NTP’s Fresh Start Jamaica campaign, at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s (PSOJ) headquarters in Kingston, Monday (August 24), that the athletes’ performances gave “a sense of hope that we all can be first class and world class people, if each of us finds in ourselves that Jamaican gene.”
Fresh Start Jamaica was officially launched last month at King’s House. It is the result of over 150 consultations, islandwide. It aims to unite Jamaicans around 12 core values, thereby building a national image. The programme is a partnership between the Government, the Church, private sector and civil society.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan (second left), engages Director of Communication, Research and Evaluation for the National Transformation Programme (NTP), Michael Aiken (far right), in conversation at the media launch of the NTP’s Fresh Start Jamaica campaign, at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s(PSOJ) headquarters, in Kingston, Monday (August 24). Looking on are (L-R): Chief Executive Officer for the Council of Voluntary Social Services, Winsome Wilkins; National Director of the NTP, Rev Al Miller; and Director of Development, Planning and Monitoring at the NTP, Fabian Brown.
Rev. Miller issued a call to action to all Jamaicans, urging them to participate in the season of peace and forgiveness, which started earlier this month and is expected to run until the end of the year. The period is to be used to foster reconciliation in order to move communities forward.
He also called for Jamaicans to rally around the “Fresh Start, Fresh Look” campaign and begin cleaning up their physical surroundings.
“Our athletes have just done an awesome job, you will agree, and therefore they have demonstrated to us that they have kept themselves clean, drug free” he said. Rev Miller said it was up to the communities from which they come to set the pace by cleaning up their environment.
Another aspect of the programme, persons are being encouraged to get involved in, is volunteerism.
Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), Winsome Wilkins, said that the CVSS has set up a database of volunteers and is ready to register more Jamaicans. The NTP is also inviting the public to submit their ideas for helping to transform Jamaica through its website: www.freshstartjamaica.com.
Rev. Miller noted that though the socio-economic support which is required to ensure the values and attitudes thrust is successful will be costly, every Jamaican can play a part in supporting the venture. He announced that the “Dollar a Day to Build Ja” campaign would be resuscitated. He said this would allow each Jamaican to make a financial contribution to nation building.