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The Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, has called on the Social Development Commission (SDC) to do more to increase its contact with the 785 communities across Jamaica.
Minister Grange’s exhortation to the SDC came as she addressed a meeting of the board of directors and senior management of the agency yesterday (Thursday, 8th January 2009).
The Minister referred to an awareness and image survey conducted by the SDC which showed that although just over 50 percent of Jamaicans claimed to be aware of the SDC, only 18 percent of those interviewed had been in any kind of contact with the Commission. “These findings clearly indicate that the SDC has to take the necessary steps to be more relevant to the people of Jamaica,” she said.
Minister Grange said that whilst “in-roads” had been made there still existed the need for the SDC to play an even greater role in community development.
Miss Grange said the SDC should provide what she described as a “road map” to opportunities for Jamaica’s citizens, particularly the youth, whether as a solo implementation agency or in partnership with other government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
She challenged the SDC’s management to “increase its commitment to working with people in communities, especially poor communities, given the economic and social challenges expected in 2009.”
Supporting the Minister’s call were SDC Chairman, Mr. Lloyd Pommels, Deputy Chairman and head of the National Transformation Programme – Fresh Start – the Reverend Al Miller and Acting Executive Director, Mr. Dwayne Vernon.