Jamalco lauds volunteers
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
It is often said that volunteers are not paid - 'not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless'.
The bauxite company Jamalco embodies this tag line, so much so that each year it encourages its employees to get involved in voluntarism. At the recent launch of the 2016 volunteer programme, 19 community organisations received good-deeds grants of approximately $3.2 million from the company.
The grants were donated on the basis of employee voluntarism calculated by the total number of hours invested by the employees at various institutions, including, but not limited to, schools and infirmaries.
Manager of corporate services at Jamalco, DonnaMarie Brooks-Gordon, said she was delighted to see the level of participation in the volunteer programme. "This says a lot about our continued commitment to making a difference. I just want to say thank you to all the volunteers for working hard to enrich the lives and to improve the conditions of the institutions in our operating areas."
She added that the spirit of voluntarism that was demonstrated is evidence of the company's commitment to continue to maintain and develop that interest, despite the economic hardship being experienced in the economy at this time.
"As a company, we have invested millions of dollars annually in education, health care, sports, environment and community development and charity, but regardless of the amount of money we invest, we will never be able to do enough," she lamented.
"In our hectic work environment, one can understand why people might opt out of voluntarism. However, it is vital that they be encouraged to make that commitment to reach out in one way or another because the future of our society needs all of us to play our part as active citizens," she said, pointing out that last year, 350 members of the workforce participated in voluntarism, which was a record year for the company.
VALUE OF VOLUNTARISM
Chief Executive Officer of Jamalco Antonio Melo said: "I believe that what sets our organisation apart from the others in our country is that we remain true to our slogan of 'Best People, Best Company' because Jamalcoans continue to raise the standards. We recognise the value of voluntarism and we take pride in improving the welfare of our communities. Our mission extends beyond that of just mining bauxite and the production of alumina. We believe that while making potential profit is important, we have an obligation to make people's lives better, healthier and more pleasant."
CEO of United Way of Jamaica Winsome Wilkins
challenged the employees to continue to be ambassadors in recruiting their colleagues, friends and family because it is through this kind of involvement that communities will be enriched.
"My vision is that all companies in Jamaica will have employee volunteer programmes. The continuous engagement of volunteers is very important to sustainable development. Voluntarism must be promoted on an ongoing basis, and, as a volunteer, your are the best promoter of the virtues and benefits of voluntarism. I want to encourage you to encourage those with whom you are in contact to get involved because there are benefits to be gained. At Jamalco, we have an ingrained tradition which we must continue to treasure and support. I challenge all of us to find new and innovative ways to go out and get involved in volunteering to improve and enrich our communities," she charged.