Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has inducted 29 new I Believe Initiative (IBI) Ambassadors to join him on the social mission of executing the Initiative’s mantra – “using what’s right with Jamaica to fix what’s wrong with Jamaica.”
Custodians, business leaders, and community volunteers were added to the corps of nation-builders at King’s House ceremony on Tuesday, November 30 and online.
In his remarks, Sir Patrick told the new Ambassadors, “You hold the key to our nation’s future, and as forward-thinkers of this time, you must remain connected with your communities in building capacity to strengthen community-based interventions.”
Giving a brief background, Sir Patrick said, “Before the launch of the Programme, Lady Allen and I attended several consultative breakfasts across the island, sponsored by Jamaica National, where we heard from concerned citizens what they considered to be the most pressing social issues. Youth, Family and Education were found to be among the major areas of concern, and therefore we made them the core pillars on which we executed the Initiative.”
Those inducted at King’s House included the Honourable Earl Jarett, OJ, CD, JP, and three Custodes – the Honourable Garfield Green, CD, JP, Custos of Manchester, the Honourable Hugh Gentles, CD, JP – Custos of– Custos of Trelawny and the Honourable Icylin Golding, CD, JP – Custos of St Catherine.
Others were Mr Jermaine Johnson, the author of the IBI theme song; Mr Nicholas Chambers, the first IBI National Coordinator; Programme Sponsors. Hotelier Mr Christopher Issa, Jamaica Broilers – Mrs Danah Cameron, Derrimon Trading – Mr Derrick Cotterell, Tourism Luminary- the Honourable Godfrey Dyer, OJ, and Mrs Claudine Heaven, JP, the Governor-General’s Secretary. These individuals are part of a group of persons who have given selfless service by helping to define and deliver the IBI but were never officially named Ambassadors.
The I Believe Initiative, which celebrates its 10th anniversary as of May 10 this year, was established as a platform to inspire young people to develop their skills and talents to achieve their highest potential as they participate in national development.
The County-level induction component of the ceremony was presented by each Custos and saw two Ambassadors installed for the Parishes of Kingston, two for St. Andrew, three for St. James and one each for the remaining eleven Parishes. The full complement of active IBI Ambassadors now stands at 312. The ambassadors are youth and community champions who influence networks, lead inspiring projects and represent the goals of the Programme.
The I Believe Initiative is an arm of The Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE); launched in 2011 as a platform to support young people to believe in themselves, achieve their God-given potential and give service to their country.