President of the International University of the Caribbean, Rev. Dr. Maitland Evans, says the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB) remains relevant to Jamaica’s development, as it provides an avenue for the country’s leaders to fellowship in unity in spite of their differences.
He noted that the event, over the years, has also made useful monetary contributions to numerous projects and persons in need of assistance.
Speaking at the 33rd staging of the NLPB held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (January 17), Rev. Evans said, he too, was once skeptical of the event, but has since understood its relevance and purpose to nation building.
“It took me a while to come to terms with the prayer breakfast. I have come to terms with it because, as I listened to (information about) the project and the money that we are being asked to give to that project, I said to myself, those who ask what does it do, don’t understand the principle and the gift and the meaning of fellowship when people sit together at a table,” he remarked.
“It is in that context that we come to a sense of what it means to eye ball another person and to begin to wrestle with what it means to build bridges of understanding,” he stressed.
He commended the NLPB team and “all the leaders of state over time, and the leaders of business and industry, who have shared in ensuring that this special space has been maintained and serve the nation for some 33 (years).”
Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Muirton Boy’s Home, a government-supported orphanage in Manchioneal, Portland, which was damaged during the passage of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
Last year,the NLPB Committee focussed its efforts on renovating the Glenhope Place of Safety in St. Andrew, a section of which was destroyed by fire in 2011.
A list of donations over the years include:
2006 – $300,000 donated for a computer laboratory at the Rio Cobre Correctional Facility, St. Catherine, which serves boys, 12 to 17 years.
2004 – $180,000 collected for the establishment of a night shelter for the poor and homeless in the Corporate Area.
2003 – $150,000 donated for Maleke Palmer, a two-year-old, who suffered from gun violence in Jamaica in 2002.
1988 – $7,640.29 collected for the Riverton City Development.
1987 – $9,000 collected to assist the Cohen brothers of Clarendon with medical expenses for treatment of a rare medical illness.
1986 – $3,258 collected and divided between the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) Premier Plaza Explosion Fund ($1,000) and Sylvia Drummond ($2,258), a foster parent in the parish of Clarendon.