KINGSTON — The National Transformation Programme (NTP) is looking to launch a discussion programme on radio and television this month, as it moves to increase the national interaction and dialogue around the core values for the transformation of the country.
NTP Director for Development, Monitoring and Planning with the NTP, Fabian Brown, tells JIS News that the programme will be interactive and solutions-oriented and will address common concerns or problems that people face.
He explains for example that “if it is that a caller or someone on the programme has three minutes to speak, then one minute of that will be strictly dedicated to what the concerns are and the other two minutes must be dedicated to the response.
“Following such a programme, we chip in our advocacy to engage the authorities towards looking at these solutions that would have emerged from that programme and see how it is this can advance the cause of transformation for Jamaica."
Mr. Brown informs that consultations have taken place with a number of radio and television stations where they expect to have the programme aired. “We truly believe that the 2.6 million of us do have some amount of energy to solving Jamaica’s problem,” he says.
Launched in 2009, the NTP is a national project, which seeks to create positive change and renewal throughout Jamaica.
Branded ‘Fresh Start Jamaica’, the initiative focuses on moral, social and economic interventions and inculcation of the values and attitudes necessary for individual propensity, community development and the sustainable growth of the economy. These values are: dignity of work, responsibility, savings, respect and reverence for life, personal development, trust, honesty, peace, truth, justice, peace, love and unity.
Mr. Brown explains that the process of change involves the adoption of behaviour patterns at the personal, family and community levels that are befitting of first class citizens.
Mr. Brown says that focus is placed on health and wellness through its Healthy Life Style Programme (HeLP) to improve productivity for the family, workplace and for the country at large.
He informs that a number of ministries, department and agencies have started health and wellness programmes, while liaison officers have been placed within organisations, and transformation promoters have been identified to work with various communities.
The process of transformation involves every citizen including the younger members of the society. Mr. Brown points to the Students for Transformation as one of the significant successes of the NTP. These students have been working with their peers in ensuring the adaptation of the core values in school life and school-related activities.
“They have been contributing significantly to the violence mitigation programme surrounding Champs but more broadly, they have been contributing to the infusion of the values among young people especially in school,” Mr. Brown says.
The group is also engaged in a civic education programme in primary schools utilising colouring books produced by the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE). They have also undertaken a poster competition in high schools where students replicate the values in an artistic way, Mr. Brown informs.
As part of the transformation process, a number of transformational zones are to be established across the island, which will serve as models for public order. The NTP is working to set up such a zone at the transportation centre in Half-Way-Tree, and is already sensitising students and the general public of the need to display proper behaviour and etiquette while using the facility, including queuing to board buses.
Mr. Brown says that this year, the very busy commercial districts of Papine and Mandeville will be targeted for special attention. “We are seeking to engage a process where everything goes right – parking, vending, speed limits, and beautification. It is really going to be an engagement of all entities that operate in those areas … the business community and members of the community.
“So, if we get the thing right in these transformational zones, and we believe we can, then that would be replicated in a number of different areas,” he says.
Meanwhile, Mr. Brown is confident that before long, Jamaicans will start to live the core principles of ‘Fresh Start Jamaica’.
“I can understand the cynicism that exists in the public domain, however, I do believe without a doubt that there is serious traction that has been gained by the National Transformation Programme,” Mr. Brown says.
He argues that "behaviour change is not an overnight affair. We have not come to this stage in our life as a country overnight so certainly, we cannot resolve our challenges overnight. It is going to take quite awhile and I believe it is important that all of us as Jamaicans value incremental changes and realise the ripple effect of changing one life."
Persons interested in being volunteers for the NTP can visit www.freshstartjamaica.com or call at 929-8880.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter