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Prime Minister Bruce Golding is of the view that more effective means of convincing and attracting men in the society, who have never been able to understand their role as fathers, leaders in the home, church and community, will have to be implemented on a national basis in order to effect meaningful change. Mr. Golding said it is almost impossible to establish shared values and goals because as a nation ‘ we have lost a sense of who we are, a sense of right and wrong and the understanding of how we relate to each other’.
Mr. Golding was speaking this morning ( Feb 16) at day two of the inaugural interdenominational men’s conference titled ‘COVENANT- Jamaica’s men on a mission’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
The two day Conference got underway yesterday ( Feb 15) with an official opening ceremony at the Mona Visitors Lodge, UWI, Mona. The conference was conceived by conference Chairman, Courtney Campbell and various church leaders, to call Jamaican men to action to assume an appropriate leadership role in society, within the home, workplace, church and community.
Mr Golding told the fair-seized audience of mostly middle-age, middle class men that, ‘We are culturally a pluralistic society so reaching these men will not be achieved by a ‘one-size fit all’ strategy. You will have to use all different means of reaching them . These men cannot be redeemed unless they can be reached’. He noted that in a recent chat with entertainer Bounty Killa, the artiste expressed the view that he wanted to give back to society and to use the positive messages in his music to help young men who have failed in their roles as leaders in the home. Mr. Golding advised that individuals such as entertainers may well have to be enlisted to play a role because they have an audience which is loyal to them and which will listen to them.
He also advised that another approach may well be to follow the examples set by the investment clubs which appear to have mastered the art of building a pyramid of followers and supporters. ‘ If you can bring more people to buy into this endeavour and it becomes the fashionable thing to do, you will be creating a whole army of followers and with this kind of inspiration, we can create a new crusade and begin to see some positive movement towards changing the mindset of our men to become more responsible fathers and better leaders’, Mr. Golding said.
Mr. Golding extended an invitation to the organizers of the conference to join forces with a coordinating committee which was established recently and which is being anchored out of Jamaica House, under the leadership of Rev Al Miller. He said this committee has been mandated to come up with a national programme that will incorporate the work of all the churches, non-government organizations, community based associations and service clubs. He urged the conference organizers to become involved in the process noting that this umbrella organization would help to consolidate this broad effort to try and make Jamaica the wonderful place God intended it to be.
The conference this morning (Feb 16) heard presentations by visiting guest speaker, Hon Alvin Curling- Co-Chair of Ontario’s Roots of Youth Violence Secretariat, former Member Provincial Parliament for Ontario Canada, and who’s also Jamaican. Panel discussions were led by several Jamaican Christian businessmen and pastors including Dr Henley Morgan, Rev Al Miller Mr Reynold Scott, Mr Courtney Campbell, and Mr. Robert Levy .