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JIS News

Sixteen community leaders, 10 community groups and six businesses/ agencies in St Catherine received certificates at an awards ceremony, yesterday (December 16) for their outstanding contribution to community development. The event, organized by the Social Development Commission (SDC), Region Five, St. Catherine, was held on the grounds of the SDC’s office in Spanish Town.
Four persons, Earle Hyde, Dr. Joseph Lindsay, George Moodie and Curn Harding, also won awards in the Exemplary Leadership category.
Mr. Roosevelt Lawrence was among the many community leaders who won an award. He has been involved in the Glengoffe Community Development Committee since its formation over six years ago and has been serving as its President for the last three years. A certificate of appreciation was also presented to the Glengoffe Community Development Committee in the outstanding group category. The group had won first prize at the National Best Community Competition launched on November 30 by the Governor General, His Excellency Professor Sir Kenneth Hall.
“It is motivating. The award brings the community together and even some of the people who were reluctant in attending meetings now find themselves interested and have started coming,” Mr. Lawrence told JIS News.
He has been instrumental in the implementation of several programmes and projects in the Glengoffe community.
Co-ordinator of the event and Regional Human Resource Manager at the SDC, Region Five, Sandra Goulbourne, said the event was organized to recognize the outstanding contribution by agencies, private and public sector organisations and individuals to the community development process.
She said the awardees were nominated by Community Development Officers who thought they were deserving of the awards. Additionally, community leaders were contacted to validate that the persons/agencies selected had met the criteria set by the Selection Committee.
“The task of selecting these persons and groups was not an easy one,” she said, noting that the process of elimination and limited resources prevented everyone from getting awards.
Guest Speaker, Professor Barry Chevannes, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies told the awardees that community development must involve the youth.
“Community development that does not engage the youth is not going to be a community that is developed,” he said, adding that between 70 and 80 per cent of murders in Jamaica are perpetrated by young males between ages 12 and 30 years.
Professor Chevannes said that development is about people and not about building roads, hospitals and buildings.