KINGSTON — The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, has reminded Jamaican students and youth leaders that they were ‘the most important resource and change agent’ and that their support is needed in the campaign to motivate Jamaicans to believe in their potential, and to contribute to the building of a prosperous and peaceful nation.
The Governor General was addressing a large group of youths from the County of Cornwall, at an ‘I Believe’ Youth Consultative Conference held at Breezes Hotel near Falmouth in Trelawny, on October 13, 2011.
“The objective of the ‘I Believe Initiative’ (IBI) is to work with partners to restore and maintain values in Jamaica, through family, youth and education. These areas are the ones that Jamaicans feel must be fixed before we can develop and fulfill our national vision,” the Governor-General said.
“This is what our conversation is going to coalesce around – what are the things that are right with Jamaica that we need to use to fix what is wrong with Jamaica and how can you, as young people, become integrally involved in the process,” he added.
He also indicated that values that must be transmitted to the next generation to guarantee continuity must be maintained at all cost, as they will enable citizens to be ‘honest and true to duty as the needle to the pole’.
“Approximately 45 per cent of the total population is below the age of 30, yet this is the group that feels most disenfranchised, disillusioned, unheard and unseen. This age cohort, unfortunately, is also responsible for the increasing prevalence in violent crimes and are themselves victims of crime,” he noted.
“There is too high a rise in lawlessness and indecency, social values have broken down and a mendicant mentality has pervaded the society… I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica”, the Governor General pointed out.
He advised the youths participating in the conference that being a change agent starts with one powerful step, which is ‘knowing and believing that you can change anything’.
“Only if you believe that you can change something it will happen. And I know that you believe in yourselves,” he said.
Youth delegates were then give the opportunity to participate in group discussions, on how they can each make positive impact on their communities and on corporate Jamaica.
By Glenis Rose, JIS Reporter