Volunteers embrace Labour Day
Nine-year-old Daniel Rose has been volunteering since he was five years old. Therefore, when he joined hundreds of volunteers at Papine High School to participate in one of the national projects on Labour Day, it was a delight for the St Anne’s Primary School student.
“I enjoyed joining my father this morning,” he said as he painted the pedestrian crossing on the Gordon Town main road chains away from the Papine High School in St Andrew. “It feels good to help out,” he added.
Jahmar Rose, records clerk at JN Bank and father of Daniel, was one of the JN Act!on volunteers who turned out at Papine High School. Rose has been working with the JN Act!on volunteers for the last 12 years.
His activities vary from Labour Day projects to International Coastal Clean-Up Day and the numerous projects in which the JN Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Jamaica National Group, becomes involved.
“I like to be in a position to help other persons who are less fortunate than me,” he said.
BUILDING A NETWORK
Rose related that volunteerism brings joy to him as it allows him not only to render valuable assistance but to “network” and meet persons from different walks of life.
For Yasheka James, member care representative at JN Bank, who spent some five hours painting and gardening at Papine High School, the day was fulfilling.
“Voluntary work is always good for me,” she said, pointing out: “Whenever I go out there and assist in any way or form, it feels good, and to come out here as a team, it’s wonderful.”
David Mais, board chairman at Papine High School, stated that community members appreciated that the school was selected as one of the national projects and that this was a gift for the school’s 60th anniversary.
“We are pleased that this is happening, and the good things that are attached to it, because the school is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,” he said. “Therefore, it is wonderful that we are upgrading the facility.”
He also noted that the theme for Labour Day, ‘Child Safety … It’s Me, It’s You, It’s All Ah We,’ was a fitting one as it encouraged safer conditions for students to and from school.
The school serves the communities of Landlease, Highlights View, Maryland, St Peters, Tavern, Kintyre, August Town, and Mona Commons, among others.
Onyka Barrett Scott, general manager of the JN Foundation, said the elevation of road safety at the national level was commendable and pointed to data which showed that some 120 children have lost their lives and a significant number of youngsters have suffered life-changing injuries arising from 70,000 crashes within the last five years .
“This is entirely preventable. It is preventable through behaviour change and carrying out infrastructural upgrading. Over the next three years, JN Foundation, in partnership with UNICEF, will upgrade some 18 schools across the country,” she said.
Barrett Scott was referencing the X Marks the Spot School Crosswalks Campaign, which aims to encourage advocacy and discussions about road safety overall;and, specifically, the safe passage of children to and from school. The campaign will also implement infrastructural changes in the vicinity of these schools to improve road safety.
The campaign is being implemented in collaboration with UNICEF Jamaica and the Abertis Foundation.