Career & Education

GG appoints 2018 crop of I Believe ambassadors

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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Governor General Sir Patrick Allen on Thursday pinned the 37 I Believe Initiative (IBI) ambassadors who will serve for 2018.

At the ceremony at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, Sir Patrick commended the youth representatives and reminded them of their mission to promote programmes that restore hope, belief, and sound values in Jamaica's families, youth and education.

“You are the ones who will make the difference and bridge the gap. You, our ambassadors, you're going to learn the language of another generation and build bridges to connect and help each other to appreciate and understand the language and the circumstances of others,” he said.

He charged them to focus on strengthening families.

“As we seek to strengthen all the pillars of the I Believe Initiative, we're seized with the urgent need to restore wholesome family values. Therefore, our parenting programme has to be revamped and rebranded and placed back on stream. We will do that with a new name, 'Parenting Now', he said.

“We realise there are many struggles being faced by families, and we see this as our response to that urgent call for help to build healthy families, because the state of the family is the state of the nation. I'm making a special call to all our ambassadors to assist in resuscitating and strengthening the family pillar,” he added.

The governor general said he was pleased with the activities undertaken by the previous corps of ambassadors and is looking forward to the projects to be implemented by the newly installed youth representatives.

“I implore you to see this recognition not as an award but as a noble call to even greater service. There's so much to be done in our country for our children, our youth, to combat abuse, trafficking and crime and violence,” he said.

Resident of Grant's Pen in St Andrew, recording artist Adiel Thomas, who was one of those pinned, said he intends to reach other youth through music programmes and other initiatives.

“It's an amazing opportunity. It's special for me because they don't have any other music ambassadors, so I want to continue to use my music to try to inspire people and help to change people's lives,” he said, noting that music is a powerful tool.

Executive director of Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN) Alex Sterling, who was also installed, said: “I feel honoured to be working with the governor general's programme. I've been working with them for a few years now through my organisation, JAYECAN, and I am really honoured now to be a part of the initiative. I look forward to working with the other ambassadors for this year.”

IBI is an arm of the governor general's Programme for Excellence. The values-based programme, launched in 2011, serves to motivate and inspire youth to believe in themselves, achieve their potential, and to give service to their country.

Since the launch, nearly 250 ambassadors from various backgrounds have been inducted.

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