Volunteers brighten Mandela Park on Labour Day
Volunteers enage in de-bushing work in Mandela Park in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, on Labour Day. Renovation work on the park was the National Labour Day Project.

THE Ministry of Culture, through a collaboration with Digicel Foundation and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), on Monday started beautification work on Mandela Park in St Andrew, this year’s National Labour Day Project.

Guided by the Labour Day slogan ‘Mek Jamaica Cris an Clean’ and the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’, volunteers painted, de-bushed and carried out landscaping work at the park named in honour of late South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Digicel Foundation CEO Charmaine Daniels told the Jamaica Observer that although it was her first time being inside Mandela Park, she was glad to be able to contribute to its upliftment.

“We are excited to be here. We are trying to get our staff to give back to Jamaica and work to build Jamaica. We have around 60 volunteers here today. This is my first time in this park and I am very impressed. It is a lovely park and a lovely space, and we are very happy to be a part of giving back to Jamaica. It is our customers who fund the foundation and this is part of how we give back to say ‘Thank you for being a part of the Digicel family,’ ” she said.

Charmaine Daniels, chief executive officer of the Digicel Foundation, engage in painting and beautifying Mandela Park in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew on Labour Day on Monday. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)

“I remember hearing of a lot of concerts in Mandela Park back in the days. I am from St Thomas, so Mandela Park is not somewhere I grew up hanging out, but I remember hearing about the gospel concerts that they used to have in this park and it is just nice to be helping to make it fresh again,” Daniels said.

Leading up to Labour Day, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange said that Mandela Park was in “a very shabby condition”, therefore the Government felt it was important — during this year’s celebration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence — to refurbish the park.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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