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Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth & Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd, today (May 9) commended the public and private sectors for their support of the National Labour Day Project, whilst urging other private sector entities to contribute to Labour Day activities at the national or community level.
Speaking at a press briefing held this morning (May 9) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Dr. Rhodd emphasized the need for residents in the various communities to actively participate in their parish projects “in the spirit of voluntarism”.
Also addressing the gathering, Dr. Barbara Carby, Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), endorsed the national project, which is the renovation of the Buena Vesta Community Centre in St. Elizabeth and also applauded the public and private sectors for their support for the project. She emphasized however, the need for the same collective and multi-sectoral approach to continue throughout the course of the year in terms of addressing environmental issues.
“To achieve loss reduction and disaster prevention requires collective national efforts and a unified approach, and this is not the responsibility of any one agency or ministry, it is the responsibility of every single Jamaican, and I would like to see the kind of collective effort that is going into this Labour Day to go into national risk reduction programmes all the time,” she stated.
A number of organizations have so far contributed to the national project with the National Commercial Bank (NCB) donating $1 million, Grace Food Processors Canning Limited contributing $300,000 and Aluminium Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) giving $150,000.
Group Managing Director of NCB, Patrick Hylton, in handing over his bank’s contribution, said that NCB was pleased to be partnering with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, in refurbishing the Buena Vesta Community Centre, which is this year’s national Labour Day project.
“NCB” Mr. Hylton stated, “is pleased to be associated with a project of national significance, and last year we played an integral role in launching the Hurricane Ivan Disaster Relief Fund and we see this (contribution) as consistent with this effort.”The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will also be funding the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $8.5 million.
The private sector is being encouraged to contribute at least 25 per cent toward the cost of the project and the Buena Vesta community an additional 11 per cent in labour.