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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller honoured with the Lignum Vitae Award
  • Government had to take “some serious, hard and bold decisions"
  • The PM commends NAJASO for its significant contributions to Jamaicans

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is urging Jamaicans to remain focused and keep their eyes on the ultimate goal as Jamaica goes through what is perhaps its most ambitious and far-reaching economic transformation programme.

She noted that in implementing that economic programme, the administration “is aware that it’s now or never,” and it is “our last opportunity to get it right, to lay the foundation for our children, to ensure that we secure their future.”

Mrs. Simpson Miller was addressing the National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), Gala Awards Banquet at the Secrets Wild Orchid Hotel in Montego Bay, on July 20, where she was honoured with the Lignum Vitae Award for her outstanding achievement of becoming the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica and for her significant contribution to the country’s political and economic welfare.

The ceremony was the final event of the organisation’s 36th annual conference which ran from July 18 to 20 under the theme ‘NAJASO – A partnership for transformation’.

“This is indeed a time for transformation. You have chosen this transformation theme at a time when Jamaica needs to mobilize all its resources, primarily its human resources at home and abroad in one massive effort to transform this piece of rock, this jewel in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She informed that this year, the Government had to take “some serious, hard and bold decisions which have serious consequences for all of us.”

“Yet I believe with all my heart and with the knowledge of our common history that if we pull together as we ought, nothing will prevent us from (successfully) going through our difficulties,” she added.

The Prime Minister said that the message to all Jamaicans was very clear, that if all commit to the changes, Jamaica would be in a position to say “Mission accomplished.”

She noted that the goal is to build a Jamaica where there is “equality of opportunity, peace and social order, respect for each other, care for our natural environment and our public spaces.”

Mrs. Simpson Miller expressed appreciation to NAJASO for recognizing her work in the country and commended the membership for its significant contributions to the health and education of thousands of Jamaicans.

NAJASO is an umbrella organization of over 500 member groups in the USA, Bermuda and Jamaica. Its main goal is to serve Jamaicans at home and Jamaican nationals in the USA in different capacities. NAJASO’s scope has expanded to include the greater Caribbean and Central America. The Lignum Vitae Award is its highest honour.