JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica is investing $29.7 million in a series of summer campus, targeted at low income youths in seven parishes.
  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, signed contracts for the 24 camps on Friday (July 10), during a ceremony at the Caribbean Palms Estate community centre in South West St. Andrew.

The Government of Jamaica is investing $29.7 million in a series of summer campus, targeted at low income youths in seven parishes.

A total of 2, 175 children and young adults, age six to 30, will benefit from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF)-organised camps, which will be held throughout July and August. Among the beneficiaries are unattached young people, who are either out of school or unemployed.

Some 240 persons will be directly employed in areas such as administration, teaching, medical and food services, transportation, security, and child care.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, signed contracts for the 24 camps on Friday (July 10), during a ceremony at the Caribbean Palms Estate community centre in South West St. Andrew.

She said the programme is part of a range of initiatives being undertaken by the Government to “prepare our youth for employment, or even to start their own businesses, as we confront the problem of youth unemployment. We are equipping them with useful skills while giving them opportunities for productive and meaningful lives.”

“Programmes, such as these…put our people, especially our youth, at the centre of development, economic growth, social development, and prosperity,” she noted, while urging the summer camp participants to “do well, and to make the most of this excellent opportunity.”

JSIF’s Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, in his remarks, noted that the camps will provide a safe space for engaging the youth during the summer and beyond “as a means of teaching and reinforcing attitudes that lead to success and gainful employment or business opportunities.”

The camps, slated to get underway next week, will be held in 18 communities in Kingston, St Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Westmoreland, St. James, and St. Ann.

They are being held under the Public Safety component of JSIF’s six-year Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), being funded through $4.9 billion (US$ 42 million) World Bank loan to the Government of Jamaica.

Of the project amount, JSIF is providing $27 million, while the remaining $2.7 million will come from community contributions.

The camps will offer a structured and varied programme that is activity-based. Offerings include vocational skills training; sports; youth in agriculture; arts and entertainment, math, science, technology and engineering; remedial education; environmental management; and sexual reproductive health and/or family life education.

All camps must include a behaviour modification component, inclusive of life skills training, counselling, mentorship, anger management training, conflict and mediation, and violence prevention services.

Some of the participants will be engaged beyond the summer through their attachment with the ICDP’s youth component.

The ICDP aims to promote public safety by providing basic infrastructure and social services in 18 communities.