Youths Inspiring Positive Change is all about young people making big moves. We encourage our volunteers to use what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica.
Very often Jamaican young men are categorized as being a part of what is wrong but Positive continues to encourage our young men to be the change they want to see. We sat down and had a conversation with a youth leader by the name of Keino Brown; a young man destined for greatness.
Positive Org: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into volunteering. What motivated you?
Keino: My Name is Keino Brown and I am the Public relations officer for both the East Gardens Youth for Progress Youth Club and Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Youth Council. I love recycling plastic bottles and I am 22 years old. I first volunteered at a community quiz competition which was The Cassia Park Quiz Competition in 2015. After the competition a group of us came together to restart the Eastwood Gardens Youth for Progress youth club which had been dormant. A friend had told me about JN Foundation Action Jamaica Volunteer programme, so I went online and signed up and it has being three years now that am a member of the volunteering corp but now I am in Love with volunteering because of the experience, vibe, feeling and people on the different community projects.
Positive Org: Do you think Jamaicans (the government & population at large) are really listening to the voices of our young people, twelve months of the year? If not, why not?
Keino. Jamaicans especially the government is listening to us but a large portion of the population think we don’t know anything because we are not experienced so very often they listen but give us promises with no action.
Positive Org: What do you see as the benefits of volunteering? What is the point, if you don't get paid?
Keino: With Volunteering you get to experience new thing, places, different cultures and people but there is also the feeling of empowerment, civic pride and happiness. Putting a smile on someone’s face or hearing someone say thanks is enough for me.
Positive Org: Who inspires you & why?
Keino: My biggest inspiration is my mother, Debra Bonner, she is my best friend, Advisor, biggest supporter, Hero (My Nanny) and my teacher.
My mother has being there for me from the day my dad impregnated her and she gave birth to me in 1996 with nonstop love and care. She always lend her shoulder for me to cry on during the bad times. She takes good care on me, my brother and sister. My mother is one of the most important motivators in my life. She encourages me to work hard and do things to the best of my abilities.
My mother works very hard day and night because she wants to ensure that her children has a comfortable life. She has never missed a doctor’s appointment, birthday, school meeting, report day or graduation.
After my accident, I woke up at the hospital with her crying over me saying “Keino you alright my son.” She wasn’t at or even near the scene of the accident but arrived at the hospital in split seconds.
My biggest accomplishment is putting a smile on her face and doing the good work that I have being doing to help others in my community and playing my part to shape a better Jamaica.
Positive Org: Do you have hope for Jamaica's future? What would you like to see? And how do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Keino: My hope for Jamaica is for us acknowledge that by working together we can improve our future. If we put aside our difference in age, gender, economical and politics status we can make Jamaica the place to live, raise family and do business. I want to see a Jamaica where Labour Day is every month so persons can volunteer more and assist with community development. I want to see a Jamaica where there is less corruption and the money being allocate to our political representatives is used to develop communities and invested in Jamaican youths. I want to see a Jamaica where we have more social workers to deal with social issues and where there is more action leaders and less promiser.
In the next ten year from now I see myself completing my Associate of Science Degree in Social Work and Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems. I will be celebrating thirteen years of voluntary service, community and youth development.