PM urges companies to invest in Jamaica's future
Published: Friday | March 20, 2009
Prime Minister Bruce Golding plants a tree to help support Sandals Foundation's efforts during its launch in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday. - photo by Hope Evans
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has endorsed the establishment of the new Sandals Foundation, which aims at improving the lives of residents of troubled communities through educational and environmental outreach.
The Prime Minister described the foundation as "a tremendous initiative" and congratulated Sandals' chairman, Mr Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, and his son, Adam Stewart, for spearheading the programme.
He also urged other companies and organizations: "Go thou and do likewise".
Golding was addressing a large group of business and tourism interests at the official launch of the foundation at the Sandals Cay, Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, on Wednesday night.
He said that alienation of communities has contributed to the crime, violence and disorder which has generated the struggle to restore some sort of consensus about values: what is right and wrong and what are the rules that should govern society, behaviour and relationships with each other.
"It is a kind of covenant that needs to be rebuilt," Golding said. "Why I am so impressed with what the Sandals Foundation is doing, is that they are leading the way. Government is doing its best, but government is so stressed."
He said that it is going to be a long time before the government will be able to penetrate all affected communities with the kind of intensity that is required.
Appreciate the efforts
"Therefore, we welcome and we salute and we really appreciate the efforts of the Sandals Foundation, because that's what they are doing; going into these communities, bringing new hope, rebuilding confidence," Golding said.
He also praised Sandals for reconnecting the society with an "underbelly" that has been long ignored.
"It is a tremendous initiative. We want to support it all that we can, and we want to hold it up as a template to other corporate entities. 'Go thou and do likewise', because this is not just charity, it is a powerful investment in the future of our country," he concluded.
The Prime Minister then joined Adam Stewart and Marilyn Nash in the symbolic planting of trees, to mark the launch of the Sandals Foundation.
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International. It is involved in a number of projects across the Caribbean, dealing with inner-city crime and violence; poverty; educational underachievement; disaffected youth; health and access to health services; training and employment of the work force.