08 December 2005, 14:28
by Theresa Brandt
The International Volunteer Day activities in Jamaica took place under the theme “Volunteer and Secure Jamaica’s Future.” This theme was chosen to underscore the high premium placed on volunteerism in the island country.
This year the IVD national committee worked around the whole island country to identify volunteers and organizations that have volunteered their services over the years and also to award certificates of appreciation at a ceremony in each Parish.
Volunteers in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew celebrated IVD over a three- day period. On Saturday, 3 December, community members along with members of the national committee and volunteer agencies participated in the painting of the art and drama building at the YMCA. Trees were trimmed and a general cleanup of the surrounding lawn was completed. Members seized the opportunity to conduct an unexpected talk on proper disposal of clippings, trimmings and waste material. This event served as an outstanding example of the contribution that volunteerism can make to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the local level. It benefited not only the street boys, but also everyone who uses this facility in these parishes.
On Sunday, 4 Decmeber, a church service was held at the Bethel Baptist Church. The service was conducted in full attendance and the Scripture reading was most appropriate to volunteerism. After the service, members of the congregation congratulated Rev. Dr. Taylor on his passionate delivery of the message. The Custos of Kingston, Rev. The Hon. Canon Weeville Gordon, read the Governor General’s message. Greetings were also conveyed on behalf of UNDP.
On Monday, 5 December, the International Volunteer Day was highlighted with approximately 26 volunteers receiving certificates and awards at a ceremony, which was held in their honour at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Both individuals and organizations were recognized for their volunteer service.
Specially noteworthy is the case of Elsi Sayle – in her eighties – who was nominated for the parish of Kingston in the category of social development at community and national levels. Ms. Sayle has volunteered her services for 58 years and she continues to give her time and talent in many areas.