JIS News

Several activities are being planned by Community Development Committees (CDCs) in St. Thomas, to highlight Youth and Community Month in November. These events include a community leaders awards ceremony, a sports day and a community day.
This was announced by Field Services Manager of the Social Development Commission (SDC), Clement Battieste, at the Port Morant Development Area Committee meeting, held recently at the Port Morant Methodist Church in the parish.
Mr. Battieste said the events would be facilitated by the SDC Community Development Officers, in collaboration with the CDCs. He noted that on community day, community members would highlight projects, heritage sites, and foods of their areas. “Community day is when the work of the community will be highlighted, to bring out the life and spirit of the area and to have the state agencies and private sector come to see what the districts are doing,” he added.
The Field Services Manager pointed out that so far, the communities of Morant Bay, Yallahs and Port Morant have been identified by the SDC to participate in the event.
He explained that at the community leaders awards ceremony, persons who have contributed to the development of their communities over the past five to 10 years, would be recognized for their work.
Mr. Battieste said that a forum would also be held during the Month to look at the status of CDCs and the Local Government reform process. Other activities include the renovation of two community centres, the launching of beautification projects and the development of historical sites.
He urged members of the audience to be involved in the leadership and development of their communities.”Community development is really a community in charge of its own development. It is really people participation. It’s a link-up with government and the private sector. It’s where a partnership is established. It is when people have the power to take control of their own development,” he added.
The Field Services Manager told community leaders that they must take control of their communities and not to “find somebody else to be responsible”, adding that they should know what was on the agendas of the Parish Council, the Parish Development Committees, and the Chamber of Commerce.
A CDC is an umbrella organization with membership drawn from all community-based organizations in the area. It manages the community development process and represents the community’s concern to the relevant authorities through the local government reform mechanism, to provide quality representation on behalf of the general community.

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