The Portland Parish Development Committee (PDC) has embarked on a number of strategies aimed at revitalizing its operations, and improving its effectiveness in pursuing the mandate to serve the people of the parish.
The strategies include fundraising ventures to enable financial sustainability, re-energizing of the Secretariat and the implementation of initiatives aimed at reorganizational strengthening and capacity building.
These were outlined by Chairperson of the Committee, Lynneth Wilks, during an executive meeting on Thursday (February 25) in the Chamber of the Portland Parish Council.
She said the successful implementation of the strategies were of critical importance to the committee, if it is to play a vital role in shaping the process of sustainable development in Portland.
The re-energizing of the Secretariat is being carried out in a number of ways, including improving relationship with the Portland Parish Council and working closely with other PDCs to strengthen its effectiveness, Mrs. Wilks said.
She stated that the effort has been significantly augmented by the European Union’s (EU) donation of funds, which are currently being used to pay the salary of an Administrative Assistant recently employed by the committee.
The fundraising ventures include an evening of excellence, featuring a concert and an art exhibition, to be held at the Ken Wright Pier, Port Antonio, on Sunday March 21.
She asserted that these ventures are expected to help the Committee overcome the lack of financial sustainability, which has been hampering its operation for a long time.
The Committee is now a registered company, she said. It is also in the process of seeking grant financing for a number of community projects it has planned for implementation.
Turning to the matter of organizational strengthening and capacity building, she said the committee has approached a number of organizations for assistance, in its efforts to implement projects and sharpen its overall effectiveness. Plans are afoot to establish information centres in various communities, in an effort to make information technology easily available to persons in need of such service.
She also said the Committee was in the process of planning a public forum, to be held in June, on the value added production that can be realized from the cultivation of bananas.
The event will be carried out in close collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, to encourage the development of micro-businesses in Portland.