Firstly, I want to thank God for this beautiful experience that he has granted to all of us. An opportunity to lead, and make changes for the better. It is with sincere gratitude that I thank the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal corporation for giving us the prestigious privilege to call ourselves the KSAMC Junior Council for the year 2017-2018.
As a youngwoman growing up my mother and father always told me, “Surround yourselves with people who accept you for who you are, but challenge you to be better. Today, we have all accomplished that. We sit in this council chamber not just as students nor children, but as an executive body, committed to the development of youth and at large the City of Kingston and St. Andrew and our countryJamaica. Though we possess various traitsranging from the outspoken to the reserved,we stand not divided but as one working unit, that challenges each member to exceed limits and achieve our individual and collective potential. I know that we are set out and set apart and by virtue of this we shall achieve great things.
The worst thing in life is to be born with sight, but lack vision. To be born with the ability to see, but lacking the capacity to envision a bigger picture. At the end of the year we should all be able to say:
Veni. Vidi. Vici; I came, I saw, I conquered.
We came -We came to Council with many questions, many plans many burning sensations in our hearts to see the city of Kingston and St. Andrew, be improved beyond our expectations.
We Saw -We looked at the challenges that plagued our city. The literal and the figurative. We looked at what it was presently and saw what could be achieved if we worked diligently and collectively.
We conquered -We combined our enthusiasm that we had when we came and acted on what we saw, and we conquered the many Goliaths that stood in our way as a little David.
The Kingston and St Andrew Junior Council intends to partner with various organizations to achieve at least these two objectives:
We shall assist the KSAMC in generating awareness and understanding of local governance and the roles thereof, by ensuring that there is an adequate supply of information and access to information for citizens of the Municipality. This will be done through social medium, in the forms of campaigns and informative posts, twitter polls and other youth engaging activities. In addition, Information sessions will be held in communities, facilitated by the respective Senior councillors of divisions, to inform and enable exchange of information between councillors and residents to increase awareness of the issues and promote positive changes through representation. Also, youth town halls, school tours and workshops will provide direct communication between KSAMC and youth through schools, again to provide information and raise awareness which will lead to greater compliance with the rules of the city and the effective running of the city.
Secondly, we shall ensurethat the implementation of reading and mentorship programs in low performing schools occurs, to enhance, develop, and nurture the potential for academic success, and the Imaginative and creative capacity within students at these institutions. This entails us Junior Councillors along with the relevant agencies adopting schools, and motivating, tutoring and empowering fellow students to achieve a brighter future through education. By improving the literacy levels ,and assisting and encouraging students to do better, it is expected that we will help to set a higher standard for these schools, by fostering a tradition of excellence.
The vision of the KSAMC to make Kingston the capital city of the Caribbean, the pearl of the Antilles and a major player on the Latin American landscape, is also the vision held by the Junior Council and we are also committed to making our contribution to achieve this legacy. But let us revisit the process of making a pearl.
A pearl can be made from one single grain of sand that irritates the oyster.
And instead of getting rid of the irritant, the pearl coats it with nacre, a special substance in multiple layers on top of layers over several years. And once it is done, it creates a pearl, beautiful and luminous and valuable.
Let us be irritated this morning. let us be irritated by crime, violence, low economic activity, unclean environments, lack of education and lack of infrastructure. These aren’t just small problems for a small oyster, but big problems for a big city. We won’t just cover them upand pretend that they do not exist, but encapsulate them with great solutions until they no longer exist. However, let us still take something from the approach of an oyster.
Let us add layers of peace to our city. No longer should we be plagued with crime and violence but a tranquil and safe environment. Let us coat ourselves with a positive attitude to economic growth and development to facilitate sustainability within the city. Let us put on cleanliness so our city will reflect godliness. Let us clad ourselves in school uniforms, and educate our citizens to the best of tune up. Let us get our concrete and pave the roads to success that will last us a life time. Let us make a pearl, let us make our pearl that we will call Kingston and St. Andrew.
As I close, my Junior councillors will tell you what is most important to me in this room. And I have taken one such thing from each of them to make my closing statement.
We now know that in order to achieve what it is that we set out to achieve, we must be “steadfast in faith and good works”.To take this great step in our lives and the life of the city we are brave, and we must understand that “The brave may fall but never yield”.We must be “Faithful”, as we know that our aim is the “Utmost for the highest”.We know that the path is “through difficulties to excellence”, and “Hard work overcomes all difficulties” and furthermore“With god as guide”we can“seek the best” because everything we do is “for the greater glory of God.”
Councillors,“whatever is worth doing is worth doing well” and “after the battle, is the reward.” And as we, take on the challenges” to learn, to love, to serve”, to make “Life more abundant”, For the city and the sons of the citymay in this case, the “council flourish as Work is burning in the fields”. And know that“together we Build”, “A city which hath foundations”.