JIS News

State Minister for Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd is appealing to Jamaicans to get involved in Labour Day activities in their communities, as they would benefit from the various projects.
The State Minister told JIS News that he was concerned with the level of voluntarism in some communities, and observed that to date, the registration of projects has been slow. He pointed out that enthusiasm was greatest in areas with community-based organisations or community development councils.
Dr. Rhodd said it was important for Jamaicans to support the activities, particularly as the focus of this year’s observance was on disaster preparedness. Labour Day, to be observed on Monday, May 23, has the theme, ‘Prepare for Disaster: Recover Faster’. He pointed out that following the ravages of Hurricane Ivan last September and the numerous fires and drought experienced, the authorities took the decision to focus on disaster preparedness, to “sensitise and educate persons on the importance of preparation”.
Focus will be given to the development of disaster shelters as the authorities wish to move away from the practice of using schools as disaster shelters, as this causes disruption in classes.
He added that from the point of view of the World Bank and other funding agencies, the focus was also important from a developmental perspective. The State Minister pointed out that a lot of funds were sometimes used for recovery (after a disaster), instead of development projects and reasoned that with greater mitigation measures, more funds would be available for development.
In addition to renovating shelters, the Minister said that persons were encouraged to plant trees, “as this is a significant part of protecting and preserving the environment”. He added that it was also important to clean drains and gullies and to clear waterways.
Persons wishing to register projects may do so by visiting the website of the Jamaica Information Service at www.jis.gov.jm. Applications may be submitted online or downloaded and delivered to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, 2 National Heroes Circle or the Parish Council, Social Development Commission or Jamaica Cultural Development Commission offices in respective parishes. The completed forms may be faxed to 948-9132.
Registration should be done by Friday, May 13.

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