Sun | Feb 26, 2017

Children encouraged to engage in volunteerism

Published:Saturday | December 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM

KIMBERLEY SHERLOCK, co-founder of the Bloom Foundation for Education, wants the current generation of children to be more engaged in volunteer activities in order to make an impact on the development of the country.

The Bloom Foundation for Education is a non-profit organisation aimed at improving the educational opportunities and facilities for special-need students in Jamaica.

Sherlock's comments came at the National Volunteer Symposium 2014, which was held yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston as part of International Volunteering Day. The theme for the event was 'A Spotlight on Youth Leadership and Innovation'.

More than 100 young volunteers from across the island participated in the event.

"Generation change is a matter of preparing young people to be advocates and change agents for their own country. It's not only a matter of getting volunteers; it's the process of making people interested in Jamaica. Why are we Jamaicans? How can I make Jamaica better?" Sherlock said.

"Generation change is that group of persons who are not necessarily worried about their pay cheque first. Instead, it is what kind of impact can I make? How am I contributing to 'out of many one people'? How can I ensure that there is a level playing field for everybody? Who is responsible for this?" she added.

Sherlock emphasised the importance of generation change and the impact that it could have on Vision 2030.

EVERYBODY MUST PLAY A PART

"Everybody and everyone needs to play their part in ensuring that we are preparing a generation of people who want to see Vision 2030, who want to not only see Vision 2030, but from there on to 2050 and even 2090," she said.

One of the highlights of the event was the innovative World Café, which allowed young volunteers to interact with established leaders of volunteer organisations who are creating impactful legacies. The leaders related their experiences from working in social programmes and responded to queries.

Among the organisations that were a part of the World Café were the Bloom Foundation for Education, Feeding the 5000, National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Be Inspired International, New Kingston Rotaract Club, as well as the Marverly and Braeton Police youth clubs.

alessandro.boyd@gleanerjm