The governnment of Jamaica

Manchester Youth Energised to Rekindle Civic Pride in Schools Homes and Community Through Volunterism

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The nation’s students are being urged to rekindle the fire of civic pride in their country and to begin that journey in the school they attend and in their home communities.

Making the charge is Parish Manager of the Manchester Social Development Commission (SDC) Beverly Boothe. She did so at the recently held semi-finals and finals of the SDC’s School’s Civic Club Inter Schools Quiz Competition held at the Mandeville Baptist Church Hall in the parish.

Over 120 students and more than 20 specially chosen teachers drawn from the ten schools associated with the SDC’s project which began in early February, are currently involved. They will form the vanguard of the SDC’s School’s Civic Club Inter Schools project to rekindling civic pride and to using the vehicle of Volunteerism among the nation’s young people.

The Competition’s aim was to educate the ‘clubbites’ on the role of the SDC, on all aspects of community development as well as bring to or stir their awareness of civic pride in Jamaica as well as to explain the diverse and rich history and workings of the country’s political and parliamentary infrastructure, the formal understanding of which they may have missed in the daily curriculum in their school.

Ms Boothe stated that the competition has caught the attention and commitment of an increasing number of schools and also from the parish’s political representatives who have come on board and are giving full support to the imitative by the SDC.

 “We started out with five high and one primary school. We also met with the political directorate. They too liked the idea so we extend it to include schools in all four constituencies in the parish. We met with Principals and they got their club coordinators involved who shared activities that could also be done in the schools,”

The Manchester SDC Parish manager further stated that the project has spurred wide ranging interests and that projects are being suggested recommended and pointed out, including some basic almost forgotten social skills.

“They are beautifying their school gardens and grounds, going into basic schools to do reading. We have etiquette sessions and how they must be attired for various functions.  Two schools have even asked to go to Gordon House so they can observe the Parliamentary process. so that is now one of the projects we have to work on for this year as well,” she stated.

On the matter of volunteerism Ms Boothe noted that this was an exciting feature of the project as the benefit goes far beyond the present and that the impact will be quite profound.  She pointed out that this aspect was to get young people to recognize and appreciate the value of volunteerism, recognizing that they don’t always have to be paid for everything, they can make positive contributions to community and country and be better citizens.

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