JIS News

Orientation sessions for about 300 persons, who have volunteered to assist with the judging of the National Best Community Competition and Programme (NBCCP), will begin tomorrow (Wednesday, March 17).
Training sessions are being organised by the Social Development Commission (SDC), in collaboration with the Community Development Committees. The sessions, which begin in Hanover, will be held in all the parishes on March 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (March 16), Chairperson of the NBCCP, Mrs. Jacqueline daCosta, said that the sessions would include a power-point presentation on the Competition and Programme and the distribution of judging guidelines and fact sheets.
Mrs. daCosta said that at least three judges were needed for each community participating in the competition, to assist with the judging of projects and programmes. She said that 230 communities have entered the competition at the parish and national levels.
“After the parish winners are declared, another set of judges would judge the 13 parishes to decide who gets the first prize. All judges give their time and energy free of charge. They get nothing for their contribution. It’s all about what can I do for my country. Some of them go to as many as three communities to help with the judging,” she noted.
Director of Governance at the SDC, Ms. Sherine Walker Francis, said that winners of the competition have to utilise their prize money for the development of the people of the community or the community itself. She stated that CDCs are required to develop project proposals.
“It is not just winning the prize, but you should also state what you will be doing with the prize money,” she added.
Mrs. Walker Francis noted that most of the proposals received have an educational component. So far, some of the projects identified by CDCs include the completion of Resource Centres, the setting up of Remedial Reading Classes and the rehabilitation of Computer Literacy and Homework Centres.
Other types of projects being undertaken are the beautification of open areas, and entrepreneurial development, focusing on poverty reduction in rural and urban areas, Mrs. Walker Francis said.
The projects are monitored by Community Development Officers at the SDC and Government agencies that have been approached to assist with specific projects.
The NBCCP is an annual competition and programme aimed at encouraging local governance, community self-help activities while seeking to establish partnerships between communities and those who have technical, professional, spiritual, educational and financial capabilities.
It is a community based initiative, 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.

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