On Saturday (June 19), the eve of Fathers’ Day , more than 40 men will be honoured at the 2023 staging of the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) Outstanding Father Awards Ceremony.
Slated to occur at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, honourees will be recognised in categories representing various sectors of the society, such as community groups, corporate and religious organisations, and the disabled community.
The event is designed to celebrate and recognise the achievements and contributions of fathers and father figures who, in many instances, have been doing work silently.
Jermaine Hurst, who recently thwarted a suicide attempt by a distressed mother is among the persons to be honoured. Other honourees include journalist and community worker, Garfield Angus, and Executive Director of the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB), Conrad Harris.
Principal Director in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Sharon Coburn Robinson, said, “I hail Jermaine Hurst as a transformational leader; he went beyond the call of duty and saved the mother of three children. With no training in social work, or how to rescue somebody, he was able use his quick skills for the mission.”
She said Mr. Hurst will be highlighted as an outstanding leader because of the extent to which he went to help someone that he did not know, “talking her out of something that was harmful and dangerous,” and in the process he “restored her to her family”.
Angus, as stated by Coburn Robinson, has been doing “groundbreaking work” in his community of Kitson Town, St. Catherine, which involved “advocating to pull out persons who need to be recognised and supported”.
“Impacting so many persons, by taking on things that nobody has asked him to do, it is not mandatory, but a choice, and when I see persons who make a distinctive choice to help other persons and go beyond norms to make sure that other people are able to receive opportunities, receive scholarships – those are persons who we want to highlight as examples,” she said.
She noted that though visually impaired, the Executive Director of the JSB is an effective administrator of the organisation and has spearheaded initiatives for persons to further their education and to “pursue dreams that they didn’t know they could achieve”.
“Men are very important to family life, and we want to encourage those men who are not being good dads. We want to recognise those men who are exemplary, standing up and taking responsibility, and to use them to put pressure on those who are not carrying out their roles as they should,” she said.
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