The I Believe Initiative: Using what’s right with Jamaica to fix what’s wrong with Jamaica.
The I Believe Initiative (IBI), launched in 2011 is a values-based initiative under the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE). The GGPE was established in 2014 as the secretariat for the two major social programmes affiliated with the Office of the Governor-General; the other being the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA), established 1991.
The IBI, which was inspired by His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen’s Inaugural Speech as Governor-General in 2009, aims to encourage all Jamaicans to develop a sense of self-assurance and national pride. The initiative was officially launched in May 2011 after extensive consultations with several focus groups to identify the specific areas of attention and to develop the character of the movement.
Even before the official launch, a lot of work was done under the IBI, including mentorship and outreach work to benefit young people at the Glenhope Place of Safety, St. Patrick’s Foundation, the Juvenile Remand Centre and the Bustamante Children’s Hospital. As the IBI evolved, so too did its scope and reach. Today, the Initiative has a number of projects which span the year, each under the patronage of His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen. Such projects include: The Summer of Service (SOS) Scholarship Programme, the Youth Consultative Conferences (YCC), annual IBI Ambassador Installations and some Parenting Initiatives. Each project is carefully designed to promote the pillars of family, youth and education.
IBI Ambassadors support the successful planning and execution of these projects while collaborating on their own initiatives at the grassroot level. By 2020, two hundred and seventy (270) persons had been installed as IBI Ambassadors. This figure continues to grow, signalling the need for a leadership framework that would provide the IBI Ambassadors with their own coordinating structure. This structure was formed in 2018 and is called the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). This ambassador-led body is not to be confused with the GGPE’s Management Committee that gives strategic direction, guides quality improvement, and assesses the Initiative’s overall performance.
Guided by the IBI Pillars
The IBI’s mantra, “using what’s right with Jamaica to fix what’s wrong with Jamaica”, is predicated on three foundational pillars. These pillars are designed to help with focusing efforts on the most critical areas of personal and community development. They also allow us to tell a clear and compelling story of our collective efforts and to engage our audiences in our work.
The three (3) pillars are:
FAMILY: The cradle of our communities. Families are the bedrock of our society and the I Believe Initiative remains committed to positively influencing the upbringing of the nation’s children through the instillment of good values and capacity building activities.
YOUTH: The I Believe Initiative encourages and supports the efforts of our stakeholders and Ambassadors to reach the youth with interventions that challenge them to excel and inspire others to do the same.
EDUCATION: The future of our nation rests in the minds of our people. Education is fundamental to the continued spirit of excellence that has guided the people of Jamaica. The IBI stands ready and is actively engaged in activities that bridge access to quality education for our nation’s citizens.