Peace Management Initiative celebrates 10 years
"Peace and the process of bringing peace is not always peaceful, but we know the end result is harmony, justice and liberty for all."
Those were the words of Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness, as he addressed the 10th anniversary church service of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) held at the Tower Hill Missionary Church.
The church, located at Olympic Way, is situated in Holness' West Central St Andrew constituency.
"I am indeed a soldier in the army for peace and I will continue to fight for peace ... . I pray for the continued success of the PMI and that one day Jamaica will be at peace," said Holness.
The PMI was established in 2002 as an alternative approach to the use of force and to reduce violence in communities across Jamaica.
PMI Vice-Chairman Donna Parchment-Brown said she was proud that they have managed to achieve that objective to a great degree, but there was still a lot more work to be done.
Milton Tomlinson, a PMI volunteer who has been working on the ground in communities across Jamaica, spoke passionately about seeing communities turned around and taken off the crime map, thanks to PMI.
Julian Robinson, state minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Technology, urged the relevant stakeholders to view the peace process as a concerted effort, not just the work of the security forces.
"The PMI has played a critical role in ensuring that peace exists in many volatile communities across the country," stated Robinson, who has been a member of the PMI since its inception.
Focusing his sermon on the biblical story of Abraham and Lot in the book of Genesis, Dr Carlton Dennis noted that peace building was "a big man thing".
"Any little boy can make war, but it takes big men to make peace," he said.