Nine year-old Daniel Rose has been volunteering since he was five years-old. Therefore, when he joined hundreds of volunteers at Papine High School at one of the national projects on Labour Day, it was a delight for the St. Anne’s Primary School student.
“I enjoy joining my father this morning,” he said, as he painted the pedestrian crossing on Gordon Town main road, chains away from the Papine High School in St. Andrew. “It feels good to help out,” he added.
Jahmar Rose, records clerk, JN Bank and father of Daniel, was one of the JN Act!on volunteers who turned out at Papine High School. Rose has been working with the JN Act!on volunteers for the past 12 years.
His activities vary from Labour Day projects to International Coastal Clean-up Day; and to the numerous projects in which the JN Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Jamaica National Group, becomes involved.
“I like to be in a position to help other persons who are less fortunate than me,” he said.
Rose related that volunteerism brings joy to him; as it allows him not only to render valuable assistance but also to “network,” and meet persons from different walks of life.
For Yasheka James, member care representative at JN Bank, who spent some five hours painting and gardening at Papine High School, the day was fulfilling.
“Voluntary work is always good for me,” she said, pointing out that, “Whenever I go out there and assist in any way or form, it feels good; and to come out here as a team, it’s wonderful.”
David Mais, board chairman at Papine High School, stated that community members appreciate that the school was selected as one of the national projects; and, this was a gift for the school’s 60th Anniversary.
“We are pleased that this is happening; and the good things that are attached to it, because the school is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,” he said. “Therefore, it is wonderful that we are upgrading the facility.”
He also noted that the theme for Labour Day, “Child Safety…it’s me, it’s you, it’s all ah we,” was a fitting theme, as it encourages safer conditions for students, to and from school.
The school serves the communities of Landlease, Highlights View, Maryland St. Peters, Tavern, Kintyre, August Town, and Mona Commons, among other communities.
Onyka Barrett Scott, general manager of the JN Foundation, said that the elevation of road safety at the national level was commendable; and pointed to data, which showed that some 120 children lost their lives and a significant number of youngsters have suffered life-changing injuries arising from 70,000 crashes, within the past five years .
“This is entirely preventable. It is preventable through behavior change and carrying out infrastructural upgrading. Over the next three years, JN Foundation in partnership with UNICEF, will upgrade some 18 schools across the country,” she said.
Mrs Barrett Scott was referencing the X-Marks the Spot School Crosswalks Campaign, which aims to encourage advocacy and discussions about road safety overall; and, specifically, the safe passage of children to and from school. The campaign will also implement infrasctural changes in the vicinity to these schools to improve road safety.
The Campaign is being implemented in collaboration with UNICEF Jamaica and the Abertis Foundation.