Title of doctor hasn't changed Romario Simpson one bit


Title of doctor hasn't changed Romario Simpson one bit

IBI ambassador still burning with desire to help

Monday, February 24, 2020

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Dr Romario Simpson has proven wrong the cynics who thought that once the young man had achieved his goal of becoming a medical doctor, he would dispense with volunteerism, which he had to do for school projects and as a youth parliamentarian.

While ferociously beating the books at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Simpson launched the Destiny Hope Foundation of Jamaica to be the vehicle through which he would stage a series of projects he hoped could make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

He put his devoted mom, Lorencio Simpson, in charge of the foundation's day-to-day operations, and has been blazing a trail in community service. That launch was in 2017 and since then Simpson has been named youth parliamentarian; Prime Minister Youth awardee; and Sagicor scholarship awardee.

More recently, he was appointed an Ambassador for the I Believe Initiative (IBI), the voluntary arm of the Governor General's Programme of Excellence (GGPE).

Importantly, he did not allow the gruelling schedule he set for himself to get in the way of him graduating last year from the UWI medical faculty, a clear indication of his time management skills, and his determination that his voluntary projects were not to be mere whim and fancy.

“I believe in a Jamaica built on positive attitudes, values and norms where if you work hard and honestly, people should be able to achieve their goals and excellence in all faucets of life,” said Simpson in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“However, we have to be realistic about the socio-economic burden of the vast majority of our people, therefore I believe we all have a part to play in promoting patriotism and preserving the social justice of all, whether through monetary contribution or volunteerism,” Simpson reasoned.

In keeping with the objectives of the Destiny Hope Foundation, Simpson joined with the GGPE in marking February 20 as the United Nations World Day of Social Justice, by hosting an empowerment session a day later at the Jamaican Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD).

Under the theme 'Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice', the session was staged to raise awareness about this vulnerable community and issues related to their social inclusion within the Jamaican society.

“IBI Ambassadors are encouraged to propose projects and develop partnerships that are geared towards restoring hope and addressing the many social ills that plague our beloved nation by 'using what is right with Jamaica, to fix what is wrong with Jamaica”, Dr Simpson said, quoting the GG.

The event also marked the start of a new partnership between the Governor General's Programme of Excellence — which is spearedheaded by its National Coordinator Sonja Simms — and the Simpson organisation, with an agreement to work with members of the disabled community going forward.

As is customary Simpson presented a cheque to Dr Christine Hendricks, executive director of the Jamaican Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD, supported by the GGPE Secretariat.

Dr Hendricks expressed gratitude for the kind donation that she said would undoubtedly go a far way to support the activities of the council, in positively impacting the disabled community.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security's Chief Technical Officer Deborah Gardner was effusive in her praise for the efforts of Dr Simpson and the Governor General's Programme of Excellence (GGPE), saying such initiatives would make a great difference in the lives of needy Jamaicans.

To date, Simpson has contributed positively towards the advancement of a better Jamaica by participating or leading numerous initiatives/outreaches aimed at uplifting the less fortunate. The list reads:

• Fed over 400 individuals living on the street;

• Conducted many conflict management sessions with a focus on the practice of restorative justice to reduce crime and violence in our society;

• Conducted several initiatives in preparing students from volatile communities for GSAT (now PEP);

• Participated in numerous health fairs targeting communities such as Denham Town, Hannah Town and Tivoli Gardens in partnership with the Optimist Club of Manor Park; the Diabetes Association of Jamaica; National Health Fund and the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme.

“We go through life an empty shell if we have no heart, no empathy for the people who are deprived of the things we take for granted,” said Dr Simpson.

– Desmond Allen

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