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Social Development Commission honours Clarendon’s finest

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2015 | 8:57 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Last Friday, the Social Development Commission (SDC), Clarendon branch, honoured community volunteers and organisations at their inaugural Community Incentive and Grants Programme awards, held at the Bridge Palm Hotel in Toll Gate.

Parish manager Baldvin McKenzie, in outlining the programme, said it is one of seven within the SDC with the aim being to reward and recognise community groups or other stakeholders who have contributed significantly to the process of community development.

"This Community Incentive Grant is the single programme that organises the framework for distribution of incentives [and] grants from the various core actions of the SDC. It also seeks to bolster community participation in the developmental activities through rewards and incentives," he said.

Minister of Local Government Noel Arscott in his keynote address said the programme is "re-echoing the sentiments expressed many years ago when the social development commission known then as the Jamaica Welfare was initiated under Norman Washington Manley which encourage citizens at that time to identify things in your community that you could utilise for your economic benefit. We recognise that no country can become great until the economic activity of the community level is developed".

Clarendon Custos William Shagoury congratulated the SDC for bringing it (awards) to the forefront, noting that people who served well and impacted positively on other lives need to be here to hear thanks for serving your community.

"A lot of times, it's when person dies you hear of their impact. Giving service is the right thing to do," he said.

Among the communities recognised on Friday were Longville Park Citizens' Association for advocacy; Best Community Spirit went to York Town, Local Economic Development and support programme went to the Mocho for its Green House project.

Other awards presented included Most Influential Youth Leader - Male, Dei Rasi Freckleton with Tanisha Reid taking the female equivalent. The Most Influential Community Leader was won by Otis James from the philanthropic organisation Otis James and Friends.