EXECUTIVE Director of the National Youth Service (NYS) Melvin Smith says the organisation is working to rebuild a society of volunteers through its programmes.
In an interview with JIS News, Smith said a modern society cannot survive without volunteerism and that is why the NYS is rekindling the spirit among its programme participants.
"When NYS started years ago, volunteerism was the watchword, it was a significant part. As time passed there was less excitement about volunteerism. We are now mainstreaming volunteerism in all our programmes, so all programme participants have to give a certain number of hours of voluntary service, including staff," he said.
Smith argued that the reward for giving of oneself in service is often found in the appreciation of the recipients.
"Seeing the eyes of an old person light up, or a child saying thank you, that is the benefit that we are trying to get people to understand," he said.
Also, speaking with JIS News, chairperson of the NYS, Maureen Webber, underscored the importance of volunteerism, adding that as an employer, it is one of the qualities to which she gives keen attention.
"As an employer, when I am looking at a résumé I look to see whether this person has given anything back," she said.
In the meantime, Smith said that Jamaicans can also become volunteers with the NYS by offering their time to a programme or initiating a programme and then request volunteers.
"Persons can get involved at the community level where we have our parish offices. They can also visit our website where they can make an application to our parish offices for volunteer programmes. Persons can also initiate a programme and come to us," he said.