The Social Development Commission (SDC) honoured 76 staff members for their outstanding contribution to the country’s chief community agency during the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
Honourable Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, in his keynote address hailed the staff for their dedicated and sterling performance.
“I want to congratulate the SDC for being a champion agency of the Ministry and a credit to Jamaica,” he said. “The SDC represents the only arm of Government that can never afford to be seen as political in the execution of its responsibilities.”
The employees were acknowledged during the seventh staging of its Staff Recognition Awards, observing the theme ‘A…M.E. (To Acknowledge, Motivate and Engage)’ at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club in St. Catherine on April 26, 2018.
The SDC, an agency under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, works with 775 communities in Jamaica. It is mandated to “promote and control schemes for, and to do any act or thing which may directly or indirectly serve the advancement of sport, social, cultural & economic development – for the people of Jamaica and workers in particular”.
The agency grew from Jamaica Welfare Limited in 1937 to be the Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ) principal community mobilisation and organisation agency in urban and rural areas.
According to Minister McKenzie, the SDC is doing considerable work in communities despite the economic challenges. He singled out the agency for its role in the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) – a crime-fighting measure conceptualized with a critical social intervention component at the community level.
“You are doing great things with a limited fiscal space and your impact is being felt in the communities across this country,” the Minister shared. “We will continue to build on the J$45 million in budgetary support so far given, as the economic initiatives of the Government increase productivity and revenue streams and unlock more funds for capital spending.”
The SDC was also credited for their role in the public sensitization and production of the Ministry’s successful Town Hall Meetings on Property Taxes, which are used to pay for garbage collection and disposal; streetlights; beautification of community spaces as well as minor and social water supplies.
“Through your business fairs and expos and your work with the people to develop business plans and business models; business proposals have been submitted for approval which are worth a combined J$127.5 million,” Minister McKenzie said of the SDC’s role in the Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP).
“You are sustaining and enhancing Project Prosperity by helping our people to create their own wealth in an orderly way. Through this programme, you have been helping to stem the tide of the rural to urban drift and all the problems that it brings.”