FCIB launches Unsung Heroes 2009 programme
April 17, 2009
FCIB launches Unsung Heroes 2009 programme

While local unsung heroes in the normal course of their business escape the attention of the media and the general public, FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB) is demonstrating its committedness to keeping the spirit of volunteerism alive by providing the region with another opportunity to discover and recognize the work and contribution of a new hero.{{more}}

On Tuesday, April 14th, 2009, the St.Vincent leg of the 2009 programme was launched at Grenadine House under the theme: “Enriching Our Communities Together”.

The FCIB programme seeks to recognize and honour persons who have contributed selflessly to the development of their various communities with little or no reward.

It is conducted on two levels, both nationally and regionally, with. all 17 countries in which FirstCaribbean operates staging a local event at which candidates are nominated and a winner selected.

Country Coordinator Alithea Jackson, in her overview of the programme, said in order to be eligible for nomination in the 2009 Unsung Heroes Programme, nominees must: Be individuals dedicated beyond the ordinary towards social improvement, must be a Caribbean person, must have no or low media profile, their cause must benefit from the exposure, they must have a link/fit with FirstCaribbean brand promise of “Enriching our Communities Together”.

This year’s lucky local winner will receive US$6,000 to go towards their cause. Should he or she go on to be named regional winner then an additional US$7,500 will be placed in his or her coffers for their cause. Runner-ups will receive an additional US$5,000.

Jackson noted that candidates who do not progress to the finalist stage have other opportunities to be nominated in subsequent years.

“It is no secret that the Unsung Heroes programme has been a success story as far as St.Vincent and the Grenadines is concerned. We are extremely proud that four of our local winners were also selected by our regional panel of distinguished judges; two of whom have copped the title of regional unsung hero,” said Jackson.

In 2006, Local Hero Jestina Charles, copped the Title of Regional Unsung Hero. Charles was honoured for a service that spanned some 40 years as a theologian, teacher, foster mother, seamstress, mentor, marriage counselor, caretaker, and agriculturalist. Following her FCIB award she received a National Women’s Award, as well as an OBE.

Two years later, Veolant Cupid copped both the local and regional title and was honoured for her service in the areas of foster-care; mentorship; outreach to the poor; skills training; adult and pre-school education; Vacation Bible School and summer programmes; prison ministry and outreach to the elderly.

Radcliffe Nurse, Country Manager for First Caribbean International Bank, said the First Caribbean Unsung Hero programme was introduced in 2003 and has cemented itself as a premier activity in communities throughout the region.

“We at FirstCaribbean recognize that being the bank of choice for Caribbean people means that we must do our part in nurturing our Caribbean societies. We in the FirstCaribbean family are keenly aware that to nurture our societies we must recognize and encourage the good people around us, to continue with their good works,” said Nurse.

Mike Browne, Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Non-Governmental Organisations Relations, Local Government, Gender Affairs and Persons with Disabilities, said the programme touches two of his Ministry’s portfolios, namely, community development and social development.

Browne lauded FCIB for the programme and suggested that the bank should also consider starting a heroes’ programme that recognizes young people. He said this would encourage more youths to make a profound impact on their societies.

The local segment of the programme will be judged by a panel comprised of George Bailey, retired Principal & Island Scout Commissioner; Lennox Bowman, the General Manager of GECCU and Chairman of the NIS Board of Directors; Artis Davis, Superintendent of Police; Dennika Peters, Investigations Officer, FirstCaribbean International Bank; Maureen Inniss, Supervisor of Loans Processing/Client Servioces (FCIB), Jacintha Hinds, Verification Officer (FCIB); and Alithea Jackson, Business Support Administrator 1 and Country Coordinator for 2009 Unsung Heroes Programme. (HN)