JIS News

The Junior Leaders League of the Jamaica 4-Clubs is being revived, with the aim of becoming a nursery for young leaders in the country.
Founded in 1971 by Lenny Reid, a former Secretary General of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the Junior Leaders League has been dormant for a number of years, but is once again seeking to take its rightful place in fostering youth leadership development in Jamaica. Deloris Henry, President of the National Leaders Association, tells JIS News about the rebirth of the League. “Over the years it has faded, and now we want to revitalize the movement, so that we can continue the development of young leaders. The League was formed to create a nursery of young leaders to take over from the leaders who have moved out of the system,” she informs.
“What we are doing now is calling the young people together. They are taken from leadership positions in the 4-H clubs, from positions such as the club Presidents, the Public Relations Officers, Treasurers, and the club Reporters. These are the ones we are trying to train in leadership development and we are using them to form the backbone of the Junior Leaders’ League,” she adds.
Miss Henry explains that in order to garner much support for the League, the organization is being restructured at the Zone and Parish levels, with several meetings being held to discuss and decide how the revamped League will be structured at the national level.
The new look Junior Leaders League will focus primarily on its old objective of developing budding young leaders, but Miss Henry says there will be added programmes for today’s young people.
“The young leaders will be requested to formulate some of the plans to move 4-H clubs forward. Their chief role will be to build and develop the younger members, as they know what the young people need. They will have to take on the mantle of helping to formulate programmes that will suit the people that we have to serve now,” the President explains.
She notes that due to the importance of agriculture to the Jamaican society, some of the programmes will be geared toward getting young people interested in the industry.
“Our programmes will include farming, and a general focus on the agricultural sector. We are looking at young people to go back to the land, as without farming we can’t survive and we need to survive. We are therefore looking to find young leaders interested in these areas, who will attract others to the sector, and by extension, foster the growth of the 4-H clubs,” Miss Henry says. Other programmes will include home-making and leadership development. She points out that getting the League restarted and functioning has been a major challenge.
“Getting the group off the ground has been one of the greatest challenges and the recent rains have also affected our planned meetings. We only decided to really get the League up and running this year, and so it has been quite a challenge getting things in place,” she notes.
The President tells JIS News that in revamping the League, there are plans to increase the number of participants, which is now at 200. “The response of the participants has been great thus far. The enthusiasm is there and they want to start something. They just need the support. They have a very bright future, it is just for us to find the correct leadership qualities and people with the enthusiasm to lead the League and move it forward,” Miss Henry says.
She is calling on all former members of the League to give back to the 4-H clubs and help with the development of the country.
“Jamaicans can expect great things from the League. A lot of leaders in Jamaica have been involved with the 4-H clubs and the Junior Leaders’ League, and I believe this current crop of youngsters have the potential and the drive to push forward, so we should have a strong League in the coming months,” Miss Henry tells JIS News.
On November 18 a meeting will be held at the Rose Hall Training Centre in St. Catherine to elect the Executive members of the League.