Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance & EFJ Award

Self-help and neighbourly cooperation have been abiding features of post-Emancipation Jamaican culture as the poor have struggled, under very difficult circumstances, to make a better life for themselves and their communities.

The Most Honourable Michael Manley, Prime Minister from 1972 to 1980 and 1989-1992, reflected his steadfast commitment to the ideals of self-reliance and community cooperation in a range of policies and in his personal voluntary involvement, joining people in their communities and wielding pickaxes, shovels and paint brushes on work days all over Jamaica.

In The Politics of Change, the first of his seven books, Mr Manley asserted: “It is vital for political leadership to ‘back its jacket’ and get in among the people at the roughest working levels from time to time.”

The Michael Manley Foundation created the Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance as its first project, with such criteria as community initiative and participation; sustainability and succession planning; democratic governance and integrity; social, economic, cultural, educational and environmental impact; gender equity and youth involvement.

Fittingly, on Emancipation Day – August 1 – each year, Kingston’s Little Theatre is decked out in appropriate style for the Awards presentation that includes screening of a video documentary on the projects short-listed for visits by the judges and entertainment mainly by promising young artistes.

In the presence of members of the Manley family, executives of the Foundation, Parliamentarians, diplomatic and consular representatives, donors, participants in community self-reliance projects, mass media practitioners and a wide range of interested individuals from the general public, the winners of the Award are presented with a beautiful bronze resin trophy sculpted by the renowned Kay Sullivan and a cash prize of $200,000.

In the communities that have featured prominently in the Michael Manley Awards for Community Self-Reliance, citizens of all generations work together to improve their economic well-being, social conditions, educational standards, environmental practices, physical health and cultural expression. Most of the very impressive projects are in the remote hinterland.

Invariably, those communities enjoy extraordinary degrees of peace and tranquility. The winners also report that news of their award inspires enhanced material support from overseas as well as from local benefactors.

Year Awardees Principal Activites Guest Speaker
2000 Manchioneal Community Club Portland Broiler Meat production,
sports & culture
Mr Randall Robinson, PresidentTransAfrica Forum, USA
2001 Cave Island Citizens Assn, Trelawny Water supply, sanitation, etc. Dr Ralph Gonsalves,
Prime Minister, St Vincent & the Grenadines
2002 Woodside Community Dev’pment Action Group, St Mary Wide range of activities Prof. Rex Nettleford,
Vice Chancellor, U. of the W. Indies
2003 Maroon Town Community Enterprise,
St James
Banana and plantain chips production Rt Hon. P.J. Patterson,
Prime Minister
2004 Amity Hall Development Committee, St James Creating own piped water supply system Ms Diane Abbott, MP
U.K. Parliamentarian
2005 Sturge Town Community Dev’pment Council,
St Ann
Wide range of activities Mr Woodrow Mitchell,
Mng Dir, Walkers Wood Caribbean Foods
2006 Jeffrey Town Farmers Assn, St Mary Farming, etc. Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister
2007 Association of Clubs, Westmoreland Wide range of activities Revd Ernle Gordon, Rector, St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church
2008 Woodford Homework & Learning Centre, St Andrew Homework assistance & IT Training Hon. Bruce Golding, MP
Prime Minister
2009 Flanker Community Development Centre, St James Wide range of activities Dr Blossom O’Meally Nelson, former Postmaster GeneralPractice of engaging a Guest Speaker discontinued henceforth
2010 Spring Village Community Development Foundation,
St Catherine
Education, training, and community enterprise
2011 Jeffrey Town Farmers Association, St Mary Wide range of activities
2012 Association of Clubs, Westmoreland Village tourism


EFJ Award

Since 2004, the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) has partnered with the Michael Manley Foundation by donating a cash prize and a commemorative plaque to the project entered for the Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance with the best credentials in Environmental Conservation or Child Survival and Development, the two causes to which the EFJ is devoted. The EFJ Awards have gone as follows:

Year Awardees Category
2004 Amity Hall Development Committee – St James Environmental Conservation
2005 Bowden Pen Farmers Association – St Thomas Environmental Conservation
2006 Holy Trinity Basic School – St Andrew Child Survival & Development
2007 Hampstead Water Supply Upgrade – St Mary Environmental Conservation
2008 St Catherine Community Development Agency (SACDA) Child Survival & Development
2009 White Horses-Botany Bay-Pamphret Water Supply & Sanitation – St Thomas Environmental Conservation
2010 Children First Agency – St Catherine Child Survival & Development
2011 Winnifred Beach Benevolent Society – Portland Environmental Conservation
2012 Central Village Inner City Services – St Catherine Child Survival & Development

Contact The Foundation

  • 1A Hope Boulevard, Kingston 6, Jamaica
  • [email protected]
  • +1 (876) 927-2288 / 838-2421
  • (Contact) Executive Officer Louis Marriott