More Persons Volunteering Through JN ACT!ON
Thirty five persons were officially recruited as part of the ACT!ON Jamaica Volunteer Corps, a project of the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation, on February 7, which brings the total number of persons affiliated with the volunteer group to 500.
In an orientation exercise, held at the New Kingston Conference Centre, recently; the newly installed volunteers, who included working professionals, university and high school students, were briefed about the operation of the Corps.
Project Officer, Chevanese Peters, explained that the volunteer group, created by the JN Foundation, has been well received in recent years, particularly among tertiary students. This, she noted, was influenced by the requirement of many educational institutions that their students should become involved in their community and contribute to voluntary service.
“You find that universities locally and overseas have identified voluntary service and hours completed by students as part of their requirement to graduate; or, as it relates to prospective students, they need to fulfill a certain amount of voluntary hours to matriculate in some programmes,” Ms Peters maintained.
She said that it was commendable, because it was only when citizens are truly involved in volunteerism that they can appreciate its impact on the lives of others people and national development.
Instituted in 2011, ACT!ON Jamaica, through its volunteers, support a wide range of initiatives across the island; and, has partnered with several non-governmental organisations, community-based groups and international development agencies, to assist in areas such as–rural regeneration, education, youth empowerment, community development, reduction of crime and improved safety.
In its continued effort to increase awareness and enthusiasm about volunteerism, Miss Peters said, “ACT!ON Jamaica welcomes the support of volunteers from a diverse age range. We believe that once you are able to give valuable service, promote community and national development, as well as to genuinely assist the less fortunate, we will welcome you.”
Some young volunteers are actually participating in projects along with their mothers and fathers; and, to date, our oldest volunteer is in her late fifties.”
Nineteen year old Dicoda Bradshaw, a recently recruited ACT!ON Jamaica volunteer and student at Quality Academics, said that becoming a volunteer was driven by her desire to care for the less fortunate. She noted that it was her intention to gain the necessary experience, to be able to become a qualified Social Worker, as a result of her involvement in ACT!ON Jamaica..
“My mother told me about ACT!ON Jamaica; because she knew that I have a soft spot for sharing, especially with persons who are in real need of help; and, she believed that participating as a volunteer would assist me succeed as a social worker, as that is what I want to do after completing my tertiary education,” Miss Bradshaw declared.
One of the new and eager volunteers, Dicoda, as well as others, will also benefit from training sessions that geared to enhance their professional development.
“Our objective is not only to get persons to volunteer their service; we also want our volunteers to be trained in various areas, which will assist them in their professional development. Outside of our volunteers who are in school, some are already in the work force; and, therefore, our training sessions will be structured to be beneficial to all our participants,” Project Officer, Ms. Peters emphasised.
And, she maintained that volunteers will also receive training in financial literacy; which will be part of an interactive learning experience, for them to develop better money management skills.