Mon | Mar 8, 2021

National Prayer Breakfast to keep hope alive

Published:Friday | January 15, 2021 | 12:19 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/Staff Reporter
Dr Kim Scott (right), director of the Child Resiliency Programme, expresses how beneficial the donation from last year’s National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB) was to the sustainability of the programme. Sharing in the conversation are (from left) R
Dr Kim Scott (right), director of the Child Resiliency Programme, expresses how beneficial the donation from last year’s National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB) was to the sustainability of the programme. Sharing in the conversation are (from left) Rev Samuel McCook, vice chairman of the NLPB committee; Naketa West, Victoria Mutual Foundation manager; and Rt Rev Stanley G. Clarke, chairman of the NLPB committee. They were at the media briefing for the 2021 NLPB, held yesterday at the Victoria Mutual Group’s Half-Way Tree location.

Jamaica’s 2021 Rhode Scholar Fitzroy Wickham will offer prayer on behalf of youths in this year’s National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), which will be hosted virtually for the first time in 41 years.

The event will be hosted on Thursday, January 21, starting at 7:30 a.m., under the theme “keep hope alive” in cognizance of the fact that many people are still trying to come to grips with the effects of COVID-19.

“It is not a radical or new idea, but it is a timely and necessary call to all of us that despite the challenges, we cannot give up,” said chairman of the NLPB committee, Reverend Stanley Clarke.

He said the fact that the event is being hosted virtually is a reflection of the continuing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on every aspect of our lives as Jamaicans.

“This decision to hold a virtual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast is indicative of our resilience as people of faith. It is a triumph of faith over fear as the Church seeks to inspire our world to keep hope alive even in moments of despair,” he said.

Wickham, a 22-year-old-neuroscience student studying at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, United States, is a past student of York Castle High School in Brown’s Town, St Ann. He has often credited his Christian upbringing for contributing to his academic success.

Rev Dr Dylan Toussaint, a Baptist minister, will be the main speaker of the event, which will be streamed live on NLPB’s YouTube Channel, Victoria Mutual’s social media pages, https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaMutual and https://www.youtube.com/c/VictoriaMutualGroup. The programme will also be broadcast on Jamaica’s television and radio stations.

Donations collected will go towards the purchasing of tablets for students. The project will be administered by the Victoria Mutual Foundation, NLPB’s main sponsor.

Last year’s main beneficiary of the prayer breakfast was the Child Resiliency Programme, which falls under the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA). Executive director of the VPA, Dr Kim Scott, said the donation allowed them to assist the 240 families and children who have been identified to be at-risk for violence and who have been under their care for the last academic year.

“Last year this time, our external grant funding was coming to an end, as well as our local funding, and there was a fair amount of anxiety as to the survival of the programme, which has been in operation for the past 14 years,” Dr Scott shared.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com