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2023 Cross Island Run launched in St. Elzabeth -Run precursor to Local Government & Community Month

BLACK RIVER, St. Elizabeth: Executive Director of the Social Development Commission (SDC), Dr. Dwayne Vernon, has challenged the country’s youth to get involved in community work.

“We are going to try and build back the youth organizations because we can’t continue our legacy in Jamaica unless the youths are involved,” he said.

“I encourage you to first visit your community groups, the ones that exist and then from that you can branch off into your own community organization or youth group.”

Dr. Vernon was speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development’s 2023 Cross Island Run in Black River, St. Elizabeth yesterday (October 18).

The SDC head also urged residents who are not a part of any grouping to volunteer and become active in supporting community organizations.

He thanked the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation for its support of the event as well as to the Parish Development Committee over the years.

 The Cross-Island Run, organized by the SDC, is a precursor to Local Government and Community Month (LGCM) observed annually in November.

The Run will last until November 5 with more than 200 runners from several schools and youth groups trekking across the island delivering messages from the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Local Government and Community Development, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGAJ) to the Mayors in the parish capitals.

 The event will conclude at the Church of God of Prophecy in Comfort District, Manchester where the messages will be read during the national church service.


Participants of the 2023 Local Government and Community Month Cross Island Run,

Mayor of Black River, Councillor Derrick Sangster, remarked that Jamaica is blessed with a talent of runners – some of whom dominate the international stage.

“Let me urge all the runners today to perform with great enthusiasm, run with any particular skills that you might have put in place and any hard work that you might have done in preparation or in training,” he noted.

“…Your participation in this All Island Run demonstrates, as far as I am concerned, your belief in and your commitment to the Local Government process and its importance for our political and our social life.”

He used the opportunity to commend the SDC for its “continued hard work and interaction in the social fabric of our society”.

The launch was held on the grounds of the municipal corporation. It was attended by a large contingent of councillors from the municipality, as well as several representatives from community groups and staff representing the Ministry and the SDC.

The Cross Island Run was introduced in 2017 and seeks to heighten awareness among residents on the critical social services that the respective departments under the Ministry provide to the general citizenry.