JIS News

The Steering Committee for the Best Community Competition and Programme (BCCP) is seeking judges for the competition. Judging is expected to begin next month.
Chairperson of the BCCP Steering Committee, Miss Jacqueline daCosta, told JIS News that at least 250 judges are required.
“We need volunteer judges because we now have 222 communities. Some judges will go to two communities, some will go to three, some will go to one, so we really need at least 250 or more judges across the parishes, depending on how many communities enter in each parish,” she outlined.
The programme is a community based initiative, which is organised through the Cabinet Office, in conjunction with several public and private sector organisations, non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), professional, educational and religious institutions, civic society and community representatives.
It seeks to encourage local governance, recognise community self-reliance and self-help activities and capabilities, while seeking to establish partnerships between communities and those who have technical, professional, spiritual, educational and financial capabilities.
Miss daCosta said that entries for the competition have increased over the years, noting that the Committee has received 222 applications, pointing out that it was the highest number of entries since the competition was launched in November 2006.
“We have to get new people every year, because the more people enter, the more judges we need. So every year we have to get a couple hundred judges,” she said.
Miss daCosta said that persons who are interested in becoming judges must be someone who is eager “to give back to their community and willing to give their services free of cost.”
“They get nothing. They do not get travelling. They do not get food. We say to them if you cannot do it, we will understand,” she said, adding that despite the lack of funds, some persons have continued to offer their services.
According to Miss daCosta, a training programme is to be organised by the Social Development Commission, the main partner of the BCCP, to inform potential judges of the guidelines, aims and objectives of the competition.
She said that persons who are interested in becoming judges could contact the Social Development Commission (SDC) Offices in their parishes, where they will be asked to fill out an application form. Persons could also email their contact information – name, address and telephone number – to jdacosta@cwjamaica.com or bestcommunitiesjamaica@gmail.com. The information could also be faxed to the SDC’s head office at 938-1492.
Miss daCosta commended representatives of several government agencies, including members of service clubs, community groups and private sector agencies who have been working as judges over the years.

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