Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Prayer Breakfast should involve community leaders, say youth

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Don-Marie Thompson from Mandela Terrace, St Andrew.
Jessica Kirlew from Arnett Gardens, St Andrew.

A call is being made for community leaders to be included among the invitees to the annual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

The event, which was first held in 1981, was established with the aim of bringing together leaders from various sectors to aid in eliminating some of the ills affecting Jamaica.

Speaking at a special forum at The Gleaner's North Street offices yesterday, following the 37th staging of the event, youth leaders shared that the organisers have failed to include a very crucial set of leaders: community leaders.


Reaching the grass roots


Don-Marie Thompson, from the Mandela Terrace community in St Andrew, said community leaders were just as important as heads of government, the private sector, church, and other civil society groups in spreading the message to the general public, helping within their areas to better Jamaica.

"I don't believe there was a proper representation today from the wider society. Going forward, I believe that the committee needs to invite more people from the different groups and parishes, especially those who are able to reach the people at the grass-roots level," she said.

"Maybe if we have a broader representation of persons, the message they want to spread will reach the communities all across Jamaica, and one representative from each community would do."

Similarly, Jessica Kirlew, from Arnett Gardens in Kingston, said that in order for the objectives to be achieved, the event has to be more inclusive.

"When I talk to persons in my circle, the general view is that the Prayer Breakfast a fi money people and the bigger heads. We don't hear much about the inner-city people. It's actually The Gleaner who gave us the opportunity in our community to be there for the first time today. A lot of people really don't know about the Prayer Breakfast," she said.