PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has hailed the outstanding philanthropic contributions of corporate entities which have served to engender a culture of volunteerism locally.
He said the Government appreciates the contributions by private and public sector entities and is working to further stimulate and encourage volunteerism in the country.
“As a nation, when we all practise volunteerism, the country benefits,” he noted.
The prime minister was giving the keynote address at the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) 2016 National Volunteer Awards Banquet held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last Thursday.
He congratulated the six awardees at the event, which was held under the theme ‘Volunteerism as a catalyst for national development’.
The Private Sector Award for Outstanding Volunteerism went to the Wisynco Group; Digicel Foundation received the Non-Profit Organisation for Outstanding Volunteerism Award, while the CVSS Member Agency of the Year Award went to the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
Justice of the peace and president of the Kiwanis Club of Junction, St Elizabeth, Alethia Peart, received the Marion Ballysingh Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. She is an ambassador for the governor general’s I Believe Initiative in the parish.
The Young Leader Award was presented to 24-year-old Portmore youth leader Neville Charlton, who is the youth director of the Silver Stone Citizens’ Association and also heads his own youth group, Youths Inspiring Positive Change Jamaica. He is also an ambassador in the governor general’s I Believe Foundation and has been impacting youngsters through his Tivoli Gardens Social Intervention Initiative, which seeks to offer mentorship and build self-esteem and character.
Former Lasco top cop, Nadine Grant-Brown, who founded the programme ‘Eve for Change’, received the Public Sector Volunteer of the Year Award. The programme operates through the St Elizabeth Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The highlight of the awards banquet was the induction of international recording artiste and philanthropist Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell into the CVSS Hall of Fame.
Burrell is the founder of the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, through which he is a supporter of the Bustamante Hospital for Children. The foundation has raised more than $255 million to acquire some 1,000 pieces of medical equipment used to treat over 77,000 children each year.
The CVSS is the coordinating body for non-government organisation’s involved in social development and has a mission to build the capacity of its members and the wider community and to create sustainable alliances.