Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Updated: 24 new 'I Believe Initiative' ambassadors charged to make Ja great

Published:Thursday | November 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Lady Allen (left) shakes the hands of the 24 new 'I Believe Initiative' ambassadors at the induction ceremony at King's House, St Andrew yesterday.
Twenty-four new 'I Believe Initiative' ambassadors were inducted at King's House, St Andrew yesterday.

Twenty-four Jamaicans were yesterday inducted as new I Believe Initiative (IBI) ambassadors for 2018 by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. They have committed to using things that are great about Jamaica to fix the things that are undesirable.

Adapting the words of former United States President John F. Kennedy to a Jamaican context, Sir Patrick said that citizens must ask what they can do for Jamaica instead of wondering what Jamaica can do for them.

"This afternoon, these 24 inductees will join the team of ambassadors who will be answering the call to service and mentorship. You are being charged with significant responsibilities to wave the IBI flag high and exemplify excellence in all your endeavours," the governor general told them at the King's House, St Andrew, ceremony.

"I encourage every Jamaican to empower others to use what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong. Let us build together. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

These new ambassadors have excelled in their various spheres of life, and going forward, they will be working closely with persons in need of mentorship and support so that they, too, can be successful citizens.

The I Believe Initiative is part of the Governor General's Programme for Excellence.

I Believe Project officer Tricia Grier told The Gleaner that one key requirement for being inducted into the programme is for ambassadors to be working in their communities.

"These are people who are serious in spite of their own challenges in their personal lives. These persons take the time to look about how Jamaica is today, how it should be tomorrow, and doing whatever they can to make it a better place," said Grier.

"The governor general supports them and gives them a platform with a mandate. You have to serve. It is implicit in the terms of reference now that you must be working. If not, you may be decommissioned."

Editor's Note: This story has been adjusted to reflect that 'I Believe Initiative' ambassadors must be offering themselves for service in their community and not that they must be employed.