Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, is encouraging more voluntary organisations to establish youth arms specifically designed to promote their involvement in the process of development through volunteerism.
“This will provide a means for our young people to show their value, to reaffirm that they have an important place in society and to give them the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our advancement,” she said.
Mrs. Robinson made the appeal during the media launch of the Jamaica Red Cross 70th Anniversary celebration at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on February 16.
The Minister commended the Jamaica Red Cross for the establishment of its youth arm, adding that “no doubt this is pursuant to ensuring that volunteerism through the Red Cross will remain a feature of the Jamaican society for generations to come”.
“I believe as a people, that the time has come when we should seriously consider the development of a culture of volunteerism by inculcating in our youth the importance of giving back to humanity. Every individual has the capacity for caring and the capacity for working in solidarity to alleviate human suffering and contribute to human dignity,” she said.
Mrs. Robinson noted that the Jamaica Red Cross has repeatedly reproduced its purpose through its commitment to Jamaica, adding that the organisation’s quick responses in times of need have resulted in the restoration of economic and social activity.
“You have manifested to Jamaica, and indeed the world, that a spirit of compassion and sacrifice is inherent in mankind and that within every human lies a jewel of hope and love. The Jamaica Red Cross Society has been a part of this great achievement to humanity. You have been and will remain a jewel in the annals of Jamaica,” she said.
Some of the activities slated for the year-long celebration include a youth rally and exposition on May 4; Mother’s Day Brunch, May 13; a gala banquet, September 27; a national Awards Ceremony for volunteers, December 5; a 5K run/walk, at a date to be announced; and a newspaper supplement on April 29.
The Jamaica Red Cross, a member of the worldwide Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, was established by an Act of Parliament in 1962 to serve as an auxiliary to the Government in times of emergencies, disasters or crises. In keeping with its legal mandate, the organisation routinely works very closely with various government agencies on an ongoing basis, and with greater intensity in times of disaster.