JIS News

The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) yesterday (Aug.15) officially opened its $25 million National Volunteer Centre on Camp Road in Kingston, which will offer capacity support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The facility, which is the first of its kind in the island, will offer short-term courses to NGOs in areas such as proposal writing, project management, advocacy and networking, strategic planning, fund raising, financial management and voluntarism. The courses will be offered in collaboration with the University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies and the National Youth Service.
Speaking at the official opening, Chairman of the CVSS, Carlton Levy, noted that the facility also houses the National Registry of Volunteers as well as an information and documentation centre, which will facilitate research in volunteerism.
“The information and documentation centre will facilitate member agencies and the public at large, through the use of the library, to do research. Other services offered are coloured photo-copying, laminating, faxing, internet usage, printing and spiral binding, among other services,” he informed.
“In essence, it acts as a hub for voluntary activities, which will redound to the benefit of Jamaica,” Mr. Levy stated.
Meanwhile, Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Scarlette Gillings, said the resources offered by the centre will strengthen the institutional capacity of the NGO community.
“Although not on NGO, JSIF knows some of the challenges that the NGO community faces especially with regards to sourcing funding for programmes. It is therefore our hope that through the opportunities offered by this new facility, NGOs islandwide will be better equipped to addresses these obstacles, thereby resulting in improved contribution to national development,” she stated.
Chief Executive Officer, CVSS, Winsome Wilkins, who spoke to JIS News, said the centre is open to anyone, who wishes to give back to their country. “We are targeting anyone – youths, retirees, anyone – who has skills and time that they want to volunteer, to just come and be a part of the centre,” she pointed out. “People can come in and be a part of the National Registry of Volunteers. They can be volunteering in a basic school, in their church, community councils, citizens association or neighbourhood watches wherever, you can come in and register,” Mrs. Wilkins added.
The centre was constructed through grant funding from JSIF and the European Union under its Poverty Reduction Programme. Furnishing, equipment and administrative support for the facility were provided by the American Development Bank; the Culture, Health Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund; and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.

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