Volunteerism Important to National Development – Grange


Minister of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports, Olivia Grange, has underscored the importance of volunteerism in nation building and the need for more persons to get involved in this area of service.
In an address delivered by Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Chairman, Hugh Nash, at the JCDC Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Committee’s annual general meeting at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre on Tuesday (Jan. 29), Ms. Grange said that “volunteers at the parish level in all aspects of nation building are the pillars of the Jamaican society”.
“They are acutely aware of the needs (of the society) and are always in search of solutions (to challenges). The unselfish and often selfless work of our volunteers cannot be quantified, but must be extolled as a priceless possession of the Jamaican experience,” Ms. Grange stated.
The Minister noted that several areas of Jamaica’s development, notably in culture, relied on the spirit of volunteerism for the implementation of activities. “The cultural movement of Jamaica has, over the years, been facilitated and energized by voluntary service.
The JCDC has always benefited from a wide range of volunteers at the national, parish and community levels, but culture is not the only area to benefit. Sports and youth development are among other areas that rely on the spirit of volunteerism for (the) successful implementation of their programmes,” she pointed out.
Ms. Grange said that continued expansion in the scope for voluntary service is envisaged, noting that “Jamaica needs it and we are challenged to respond.”
“Generations before us have contributed much (to nation building through volunteerism). It is now our turn to honour the legacy of their voluntary service and to build on the foundation they laid,” the Minister underscored.
In the meantime, she commended the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Committee, along with the 12 other parish bodies, for their work in the development of Jamaican art and culture.
“The policy of my Ministry is for a more direct and active role for these parish committees to contribute more fully at all levels, and to bring them more into the mainstream of community cultural development,” she pointed out.
Ms. Grange said that the exemplary service of volunteerism shown by the members is worthy of emulation, adding that “the JCDC, as it is today, is the product of much of your work”. She further said: “we are now joined in a great endeavour to expand this (cultural movement), as we look forward to a new wave of creativity.”

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