THE National Best Community Competition and Programme (NBCCP) recently announced its 13 parish winners out of the 248 communities that competed.
The NBCCP, which was launched in 2006 for the purpose of promoting nation building at the community level, encourages communities islandwide to engage in sustainable development in a wide number of areas, including projects which create jobs and generate income.
“These communities are living proof of our national potential in boosting our agriculture, preserving our natural environment, heritage and culture as well as educating our youth,” said Samantha Chantrelle, executive director of the Digicel Foundation, a major sponsor of the competition. “As we approach Jamaica’s 50th we are happy to have been a part of a programme that engages and encourages communities to be self reliant in preparation for the next 50 years.”
The parish winners include: Irish Town, St Andrew; Port Morant, St Thomas; Balcarres, Portland; Jeffrey Town, St Mary; Hampton, Runaway Bay, St Ann; Albert Town, Trelawny; Flanker, St James; Mount Peto, Hanover; Petersville, Westmoreland; Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth; Grove Place, Manchester; Canaan Heights, Clarendon; and Bushy Park, St Catherine.
“With the prize money we want to build a nursing home,” said Joyce Codner, president of the Albert Town, Community Development Committee, “sometimes we see the children that grow up here take their parents out of Albert Town, and these people in their 80s and 90s fret and die, because of it. If we had a place for them here in Albert Town they would live longer being around their own people.”
“We are very happy about this news,” said Rev Inez Thomas, president of the Hampton Community Development Committee. “We are hoping to purchase a second shipping container that will be converted into a resource centre, where we will have computer classes and space to house budding entrepreneurs, like our community members involved in making almond punch, cushion and curtain making.”
For the past four years, the Digicel Foundation has served as one of NBCCP’s major partners, committing $10 million annually to the competition.
The National winners will be announced on August 23 at the Stella Maris Church Pastoral Centre.