All hands on deck
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Most Jamaicans would agree that now, more than any other time in history, our country should pursue a process of positive transformation in critical societal areas such as crime and violence, justice, poverty, inappropriate sexual activity, negative music and cultural proclivities that prohibit or inhibit our personal and national prosperity.
Four years ago, the Build Jamaica Foundation (BJF) designed a concept of transformation and shared it with the Government for support. In response, the Golding administration embraced the concept. Bruce Golding took a personal interest in the concept, out of the same conviction that drove P.J. Patterson, for the need for national transformation. As a result, a series of meetings and research were conducted over an 18-month period, which produced an operational document.
The document linked and expanded the Values and Attitudes (VAT) programme that was the brainchild of the People's National Party. The programme was called the National Transformation Programme (NTP) - 'Fresh Start'. Care was taken, given the experience of VAT, to maintain the programme as a civil-society-led initiative, with Government, Church and private sector as partners with clearly defined roles.
However, it was well recognised and accepted that real transformation of our society could not happen without total commitment and perceived involvement of the Government.
The recent Budget Debate has made it clear that the State continues to be strapped for funds and therefore, unable to fund the NTP secretariat. The other partners must now pick up the slack if we are indeed committed to transformation.
BJF, as leaders in framing the project, remains fully committed to the NTP as birthed. BJF will raise funds to provide a small secretariat to ensure the continuation and to see the completion of the transformation process.
But we cannot do it alone. Other civil-society groups, the Church and private sector must do their part. We invite the international donor agencies to also join in lending their support to the transformation process.
The transformation of our nation is of absolute necessity if we are to experience prosperity and fulfil the vision of making Jamaica 'the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business'.
Let us all commit to work to see the transformation of Jamaica, a process that needs all hands on deck.
AL MILLER (Rev)