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Governor-General Lauds Volunteers

Governor-General Lauds Volunteers
Garland McDonald, Teka Brown and Sherica Reid, representing the parish of Trelawny, with their awards and citations, following the presentation ceremony for the 2017 Governor-General Achievement Award (GGAA) ceremony, held at the Everglades Centre in Black River, St. Elizabeth, on April 27
(Media Credit: Barbara Ellington)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has lauded volunteers who go beyond the call of duty to help the less fortunate in Jamaica. He was speaking at the 2017 Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA) presentation ceremony for the county of Cornwall, at the Everglades Centre, Black River in St. Elizabeth, on April 27. “This is all about volunteerism and the spirit of the people of Jamaica and our ability to come together and do what is best for our nation. The selfless acts of volunteerism and outstanding educational achievement of the GGAA recipients speak to the gains to be had when our objectives and our actions are from a pure heart,’ said the Governor-General. He told the audience to celebrate the achievements of the 14 recipients of the GGAA, which recognises excellence in community development through volunteerism.

“These awardees have given of their God-given talents to help others; they have become beacons of hope in many communities across the nation. Through their various projects, the awardees have been harnessing the potential of many of the nation’s young people and are directing them into purposeful gains and positive actions,” the Governor-General said.

He also commended the awardees for “burning the midnight oil” to make the sacrifice and to adopt the self-discipline necessary to achieve academic success. He said they dared to be different, to have a firm purpose and to make it known.

“Volunteering is a rewarding experience, and through this act, it is my hope that others will replicate your experience to energise their communities. Volunteering builds individual character, encourages good citizens and provides opportunities to gain new skills and talents. It is also pivotal in establishing values and promoting trust,” the Governor-General said.

Expressing gratitude for the foundation laid by his predecessors, the Governor-General said he has built and broadened the GGAA platform to become part of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE).

The GGPE has become the embodiment of excellence in service and carries many success stories.

It includes the ‘I Believe Initiative’ launched in 2011 and is predicated on the philosophy of youth empowerment, family values and education. The GGAA is the award component of the programme.

The ‘I Believe Initiative’ is the service component of the GGPE, and through its programmes, which are conducted on behalf of young people, individuals can impact families, be participants in the educational development of young people and be involved in youth-engagement activities.

Persons awarded under the GGPE are eligible to apply to be ambassadors of the ‘I Believe Initiative’.

The 14 recipients were Dominic Blair, Ricardo Gowdie and Laurna Wint from St. Elizabeth; Dane Rose, Sharna-Gaye Brown-Davis and Carol Muschette from Westmoreland; Nicolette Wilson and Hyacinth Shakes-Warren from Hanover; Malike Kellier, Demoy Kerr and Bishop Dr. Olive Coates from St James; and from Trelawny, Sherica Reid, Teka Brown and Garland McDonald.

Among the sponsors for the event were The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited; Jamaica National Group; Victoria Mutual Building Society; Scotia Jamaica Building Society; Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies; Flow; ARC Manufacturing Systems Limited; Intown Supersave Supermarket; Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica, St. Elizabeth Chapter; Brown and Sons; Jake’s Hotel and Spa; Hendricks and Company and Alpart Community Council