JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Arthur Williams, has appealed to service clubs to redouble their efforts to save Jamaica’s youths.
Senator Williams made the call while speaking on Saturday (October 31) at The Optimist Club of Christiana’s Awards and Installation Banquet, at the Holmwood Technical High School, Christiana in Manchester.
“Your particular focus on youth development is welcome, because as a nation we are at a critical stage where our young people seem to be easily sidetracked into indiscipline and criminality. For this reason, I want to make a special appeal to you to re-double your efforts in saving Jamaica’s future generation; the youth,” he told the Optimists.
He called on service clubs, churches, communities and citizens to partner with the Government, to institute programmes geared to sustaining youths.
“Governments must play its part in implementing programmes to help to sustain our youth. But, Government programmes alone have never been enough. The Church, the service clubs, the community as a whole and all well-thinking Jamaicans must partner with Government to help to prepare and equip the next generation,” he said.
He noted that despite the current economic climate, and the financial hardships that have impacted the earnings of many Jamaicans, volunteerism in Jamaica is still alive.
“It has not stifled the helpful spirit of Jamaicans. Volunteerism in Jamaica is not dead and is still viable”, he said.
Senator Williams stated, however, that although volunteerism is not dead, some persons, in the face of hardships, will want to re-evaluate whether or not volunteering in any service organisation is worth the effort.
“As a service club, there is also the challenge of gaining and maintaining membership, at a time when individuals increasingly become more concerned about getting their bills paid and coping with their own lives,” he emphasised.
He pointed out that the global economic slow-down is affecting sponsorships and donations to service clubs, due to declining revenues, and eroding bottom-lines which would have been earmarked for corporate social responsibility.
The Optimist Club of Christiana is a six years old organisation with a membership of 86.
Among other notable achievements for the Optimist Club of Christiana are the completion of four service projects for 2008-2009, and the formation of two new clubs, in Junction, St. Elizabeth and Porus, Manchester.
Incoming President for the Optimist Club of Christiana, Ruth Brown, said that under her leadership, the club hopes to adopt, as a project, the Chudleigh Early Childhood Institution to prevent its closure, as well as a mentorship programme, among other projects.

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