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February 2017

| VOICES Bi-Monthly Magazine of the University of Technology, Jamaica


he University of Technology, Jamaica through its USAID-funded

Fi Wi


social intervention Project honoured nine individuals and two

organisations at its 3rd annual Ubuntu Essence of Humanity Awards

ceremony held on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

Ubuntu Awards are presented to a Jamaican citizen or resident or a

community-based organization working in Jamaica. Awardees demonstrate

outstanding leadership and courage in the face of adversity as they

contribute to the cause of humanity. Their peers judge them to be worthy of

emulation because they demonstrate great value and regard for humanity

and the rights of the person – both as individuals and in community, and

exemplify the UTech, Jamaica core values of respect, integrity, excellence

and service.

The Ubuntu Awards were presented in the three categories of certificate,

citation and trophy. Leading the list of awardees were educator

Ms. Keisha


and gender and water rights advocate,

Mrs. Linette Vassell


both received the most prestigious awards, the Ubuntu trophy.

The Sir

Howard Cooke’s Thursday Group Character Development Centre

located in Nannyville also received an Ubuntu Essence of Humanity trophy

for establishing day care, internet and homework services.

The University honoured Ms. Hayle, who is principal of the Padmore Primary

School in West Rural St. Andrew, for her “exemplary and selfless leadership

in education” and for consistently “striving for academic excellence at the

Padmore Primary School, for going beyond the call of duty and for unstinting

care for the education of the children of the community.” Ms. Hayle has

taught and mentored over 5,000 students at the school. Ms. Hayle was

lauded for turning around the fortunes of the school, which in 2015 became

a top performer in Grade 3, Grade 4 and GSAT examinations. Students from

the school achieved 100% passes in examinations at these levels, moving

the institution from the bottom of the National Education Inspectorate’s

performance list.

Mrs. Vassell received the Ubuntu Essence of Humanity trophy for her more

than four decades of advocacy for women’s rights and for the provision of

social water. UTech, Jamaica, applauded her contribution to the passing of

several pieces of legislation to improve the status of women and children

in Jamaica. Notable among these were the Maternity Leave Act and the

Minimum Wage Act, passed in the 1970s. Under the Minimum Wage Act,

domestic workers were for the first time entitled to a legally determined basic

wage. Mrs. Vassell’s unwavering advocacy has enabled the establishment

of community-controlled and/or co-managed water and sanitation supply

systems, in particular in low-income urban, rural and remote rural areas.

Citations were presented to other awardees Mr. Nicholas Scott, Ms. Althea

Young, Dr. Jean Purchas-Tulloch, Sheldon Millington and Mr. Fitzroy Mills

for community outreach. Mr. Scott was recognised for opening an evening

institute to help adults and teens achieve CSEC subject passes and for

organising outreach activities to troubled and needy children through the

Welcome Outreach Ministries.

UTech, Jamaica in the Community

Unsung Humanitarian Heroes Honoured at



Annual Ubuntu Awards

Recipients of the University of Technology, Jamaica Ubuntu Essence of Humanity Awards pose for a group photo with Fi Wi Jamaica Project leadership following the 3


annual awards ceremony held on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.

Cont’d on page 30