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National Leadership Prayer Breakfast to raise funds

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THE Peace Management Initiative (PMI) is expected to benefit from funds raised at this year’s staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), which is scheduled for January 17.

Chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Reverend Stanley Clarke, speaking at Tuesday’s press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, said the funds will go towards PMI’s Violence Prevention/Safe Schools Project.

The purpose of the Safe Schools Monitors Programme is to provide greater security and support to pedestrian students travelling home from school in the Kingston Central Police Division.

“The PMI Violence Prevention/Safe Schools project is a timely response to a growing crisis in our communities, and is fully deserving of our support,” Reverend Clarke said.

“It is imperative that we find effective ways to win the war against what is not good for Jamaica. It is imperative that we find ways to end the scourge of fear and insecurity facing children at school and at play,” he added.

Last year, NLPB donated $450,000 to the Randolph Lopez School of Hope. The money was used to renovate and upgrade the boys’ bathroom, replace urinals, tile the floors, install doors, paint the bathrooms, install a multi-purpose sink, and renovate the school’s gazebo.

Davia Moore-Gordon, a teacher at the school, said on Tuesday that: “Four hundred and fifty thousand dollars to a school like ours, our students are intellectually challenged and they are oftentimes on the brink of society, and so we are often left out of everything. So when a group selects us, we feel so proud, we feel we can conquer anything and that’s how we felt when our name was called.”

She explained that the school, which has a population of 304 students, 179 of whom are boys, had a bathroom with only three urinals.

“I am standing here to say, on behalf of the Randolph Lopez School of Hope, the boys in particularly, we are eternally grateful and we do look forward to a greater partnership with not only Victoria Mutual [Building Society] and the NLPB team, but any organisation out there who will put our children with disability first, because they do not have a voice and, sad to say, a number of their parents are also in a position where they do not have a voice, so we depend on organisations like these to be their voice,” she added.

The NLPB, since 1986, has collected approximately $8 million and has donated to 32 projects.

“Approximately 50 per cent directly assisted children and youth in need, the rest is distributed among projects that alleviate the plight of the poor and the destitute, for example the homeless, Jamaicans with HIV/AIDS, convalescent homes, the restoration of the chapel at GP (General Penitentiary, also known as Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre), and so on,” said Reverend Clarke.

The annual prayer breakfast, which will be seeing its 29th staging next week Thursday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, starting at 7:30 am, will be held under the theme: ‘I Pledge’.

“At the breakfast this year, our intention is to appeal to all our leaders and to our fellow citizens to make a personal pledge to do whatever it takes to make Jamaica, land we love, a better place.

“The time has come to make a pledge to work towards the holistic development of Jamaica, land we love, using these principles of our Sovereign Lord to make the change,” the committee chairman said.

He added: “The call of the NLPB to our national leaders and the nation to join us in prayer is a call to action. Prayer is a call to action and we urge those who hold the reins of national leadership in Government, judiciary, private sector, public sector, security forces, institutions of learning, the church, the community leaders, in families and households to seek transformation in order to have the positive and holistic impact that our country and the world needs.”

The NLPB brings together leaders at all levels at the start of each year for fellowship and prayer, and to ask God’s blessings on the nation and will be preceded by the National Leadership Prayer Week, which starts today.

In the meantime, Reverend Karen Kirlew, incumbent president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, is expected to be the keynote speaker at the NLPB.

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