As the new academic year got underway yesterday (Sept. 7), a group of volunteers from the National Transformation Programme (NTP) visited the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre in Kingston, to encourage students to maintain good behaviour while at the facility.
The group, including members of Students for Transformation and Mother’s Patrol, started the day’s activities at about 6:00 a.m. with a prayer and devotional session led by the Women’s Aglow group.
The volunteers, who worked in shifts up to 6:00 p.m., encouraged commuters to form lines and enter the buses in an orderly manner. Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) inspectors and security personnel at the centre were also part of the day’s efforts.
Director of Development, Planning and Monitoring at the NTP, Fabian Brown, told JIS News, that the activity was to ensure that the behaviour pattern of students and commuters is befitting of “first-class citizens.”
“We are really seeking to make the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre one of the many transformational zones in Jamaica, where law and order are maintained, and people can go about their business in a very warm, cordial and fun-loving happy atmosphere,” he said.
He noted that the activity was not a “one-day affair” as it will take time to stimulate behaviour change among students. “Certainly, we have our work cut out for us. We still have a very, very far way to go. It is just the beginning of a long process,” Mr. Brown stated, noting that the volunteers will continue their efforts.
JUTC Inspector at the Transportation Centre, Carol Reynolds, said her job has been made much easier as a result of passengers queuing to enter the buses.
National Transformation Programme volunteer YorkAli Walters (right), converses with Calabar High School students at the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre on Monday (September 7) A team of volunteers of the NTP will be visiting the centre to encourage students to maintain good behaviour while at the facility.
“When you have a line, it is much easier and it takes less than five minutes to load a bus. With the line, it is more efficient,” she said, noting that on many occasions, persons have lost valuables and suffered injuries as a result of persons pushing and shoving to enter the buses.
She noted the improved behaviour of commuters using the Spanish Town bus stop at the centre. “Spanish Town was the most troublesome route and it is the best route inside here now. Best out of all, it is an example to every other route,” she stated.
NTP volunteer YorkAli Walters, who works with a consulting and design firm, said it is important for private sector individuals to assist with the transformation process and urged them to give their time to the effort.
“Volunteer three hours of your time per week or more if you can, because it will come to the point where the society in which you are making money may no longer exist,” Mr. Walters said.
The NTP, branded ‘Fresh Start Jamaica’, is a national project, which seeks to create positive change and renewal throughout Jamaica.
The NTP’s focus is on moral, social and economic interventions and the inculcating of values and attitudes necessary for individual propensity, community development and the sustainable growth of the economy.
Mr. Brown said that the NTP has been heartened by the many calls received from the leadership of schools, the parent teachers’ associations, the student body and other patriotic individuals, in support of the programme.