PM praises NAJASO's support to Jamaica
WASHINGTON, DC, USA — Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has hailed the National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organisations (NAJASO) for the outstanding work it continues to provide on behalf of Jamaica.
"I am particularly pleased at the association's efforts to channel the much needed humanitarian assistance and the promotion of trade and business opportunities that have benefitted Jamaica," she stated.
The prime minister's commendation came in a message read by president of NAJASO, Rick Nugent, at the association's 37th annual awards banquet held on Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel, College Park, Maryland.
She pointed out that despite the challenges, NAJASO "still shows that it has the interest, energy and conviction to continue the mission, fully confident that its efforts are helping to make a difference in the sustained progress of our people and country".
Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie, who delivered the keynote address, said that NAJASO and its affiliated organisations, as well as individual members of the diaspora, continue to make significant contributions to the country's education and health sectors. This kind of support, he said, strengthens and complements the initiatives being undertaken by the Government of Jamaica.
He said that despite the financial challenges, the Government remains committed to providing quality education for all, and to ensure that as many people as possible have access to modern health facilities and highly trained professionals.
Ambassador Vasciannie also lauded past and present members of NAJASO, who have dedicated their time, energy and vision to the country in various areas.
"Your organisation should take pride in the fact that through visionary leadership and strong membership support you will continue to grow from strength to strength," he stated.
President Nugent, in his address, said the body is committed to attracting new investments to Jamaica and will continue to provide educational and health support as well as its outreach programme.
"It is important that we give back to help the less fortunate in our homeland and also to the respective states in which we reside," he stated.
Nugent pointed out that NAJASO, over its 37 years of existence, has accomplished much, however, he said there is a lot more that needs to be done. He challenged the membership to recommit themselves to the body and its mission.
The ceremony included the presentation of awards to five noted Jamaicans in the United States.
The Lignum Vitae award went to Jamaica's Ambassador to the United Nations Courtney Rattray; Founder of New York Caribe News Dr Karl Rodney and President of the Council of Caribbean Organisations Leopold Edwards received the Outreach Service Award; former Jamaica Counsel General to New York Ambassador Dr Basil Bryan received the National Convention Chairman Award; while former Jamaican Olympian Albert Lawrence received the NAJASO Presidential Award.
The banquet brought the curtains down on NAJASO's three-day conference which was held under the theme: 'Transition with a Vision'.
NAJASO is a non-profit umbrella association of Jamaica and supportive organisations throughout the US and internationally. The organisation, officially incorporated in 1977, is the brainchild of then senator Alfred Rattray, Jamaica's fourth ambassador to the US.