25 Wards of the State Benefit from Cosmetology and Life Skills Training Programme

Photo: Mark Bell Participants in the Homestead Place of Safety cosmetology and life skill programme pictured during the closing ceremony held on Friday, September 22 at the institution, located in Stony Hill, St. Andrew. The initiative was facilitated by the Child Development Agency (CDA) in collaboration with the social intervention programme, Children First Jamaica.

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-five wards of the Homestead Place of Safety have been trained in cosmetology and life skills to assist them in making the transition to independent living.
  • Director of the CDA’s Children and Family Programmes, Audrey Budhi, told JIS News that the initiative will ensure that children at the facility are positively engaged while awaiting court orders to be formally placed in State care.
  • Meanwhile, Executive Director for Children First Jamaica, Claudette Richardson Pious, told JIS News that the initiative has been favourably received by the participants, who have expressed an interest in further training.

Twenty-five wards of the Homestead Place of Safety have been trained in cosmetology and life skills to assist them in making the transition to independent living.

The four-month pilot programme, which ran from May to August, was a HEART Trust/NTA-accredited level-one course facilitated by the Child Development Agency (CDA) in tandem with the social-intervention programme, Children First Jamaica.

It was aimed at equipping the participants, aged 13 to 17, with the skills to either gain employment or become entrepreneurs. These included hairdressing techniques, art and craft, and life skills.

The closing ceremony for the initiative was held at the facility, located in Stony Hill. St. Andrew, on Friday, September 22.

Director of the CDA’s Children and Family Programmes, Audrey Budhi, told JIS News that the initiative will ensure that children at the facility are positively engaged while awaiting court orders to be formally placed in State care.

“Within the last four months, the children would have attained (training) and be certified in a skill so that they can go on to another level, so (that) when they leave the facility, they will have something to go out into the world with. We wanted to equip them with marketable skills that they can build on during that period and when they leave State care,” she explained.

Mrs. Budhi further noted that the initiative is part of the CDA’s thrust to prepare children for independent living under the Transitional Living Programme for Children in State Care (TLP-CSC) Project.

“We have 60 young ladies in residence and we thought it prudent to ensure that we prepare them for transitional living by learning a skill.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director for Children First Jamaica, Claudette Richardson Pious, told JIS News that the initiative has been favourably received by the participants, who have expressed an interest in further training.

“They learned about conflict resolution, relationships, HIV, budgeting and communication skills. It creates the opportunity for them to continue the training and be certified at a higher level,” she said.

Noting that the programme has had a positive effect on the young ladies, Mrs. Pious said while it is important for them to learn a skill, the programme’s personal-development component was also essential, as the knowledge they gained will help them to make wise decisions.

The TLP-CSC initiative is a six-year project designed to equip youth in State care with life and vocational skills training and mentoring in a safe environment.

It is being implemented by the University of the West Indies Open Campus Caribbean Child Development Centre in partnership with the CDA, and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

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