JIS News

Community leaders from across the parish of St. Catherine on February 18 participated in a workshop aimed at promoting awareness of the Vision 2030 Jamaica national development plan and its various benefits.

The workshop, held at the Social Development Commission (SDC) office in Spanish Town, was the penultimate session in an island-wide series organised by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), to build national awareness of the plan, which aims to make Jamaica a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business in 20 years.

The main objectives of the sessions are to: develop understanding of the roles of individuals and community of the day-to-day activities that each can undertake towards achievement of the goals and long-term vision; and to promote dialogue on the approaches to be taken at the community level to implement Vision 2030 Jamaica.

Communications Specialists, Vision 2030 Programme, PIOJ, Carmen Miller, said the workshops seek to sensitise community leaders, so they, in turn, will educate others about what they can do to contribute to national development. “We want you, as leaders of your communities, to spread the information and the way forward,” she told the gathering.

She informed that some 15,000 documents will be distributed across the communities in the parish so that residents can become aware of the way forward.

The community leaders, in stating their vision for the parish over the next five years, cited the need for more opportunities for employment and youth empowerment; reduction in poverty; the development of communities through social programmes; economic stability; and educational development.

Capacity Building Co-ordinator, Training Unit, SDC, Patrick Johnson, said residents are primarily concerned about security and economic opportunities. “People really want to see what is happening in terms of that,” he noted.

Marcia Gayle, who participated in the workshop, said the session will enable her to disseminate critical information to community members.  “We can get people to buy into the concept to realise that there is hope…and for us to sell Jamaica as the best place and one that everyone can come to,” she said.

The island wide workshops, which began late last year, are being staged in collaboration with the SDC and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The final session is slated for Kingston and St. Andrew on February 22.