Volunteerism will become much more attractive and appealing to Millennials if they are given key roles to play in the activity, a subset of the group of this year's national honourees has suggested.
The group of four, which included cultural ambassador Joan Andrea Hutchinson, environmentalist Eleanor Jones, and councillor for the Gordon Town Division Neville Whittaker, all agreed that young people nowadays generally tend to shy away from volunteering, choosing instead to work for tangible incentives, usually monetary rewards.
Kavan Gayle, a veteran trade unionist who is to be awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for Contribution to the Trade Union Movement and Public Service, is confident that if these Millennials are given the mantle of leadership, a culture change will come.
Jones, who will be awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for her contribution to the Development of Environmental Management and also Civic Development, quickly agreed with Gayle.
"A lot of young people at all levels feel disconnected, so how do we bring them back in? I think the business of accountability, responsibility, helping to build the self-esteem and that sense of self-satisfaction is key," she said.
Hutchinson, who has earned the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for her contribution to the Cultural Arts, in particular, the spoken word, asserted that the act of volunteerism is more nurtured than innate.
"It is what you see around you. It is the people around you who shape your thinking. If as a young person, what is in it for me is power, responsibility, and respectability, then it becomes attractive. So we must not always make it about giving them money and paying them to do the volunteerism. Give them the power, give them the respectability, because that's what they want," she said.