August Town Welcomes Project ‘GOLD’

Photo: Adrian Walker General Manager, Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill, New Kingston, Radcliffe Haynes (left), presents copies of cricketer, Chris Gayle’s autobiography ‘Six Machine’, to former Jamaica netball team captain, Simone Forbes, during the launch of Project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development) on April 6. Chris Gayle is a patron of the initiative, which is being spearheaded by Ms. Forbes.

Story Highlights

  • Parents in August Town, St. Andrew, are excited about the recently launched Project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development) initiative that will engage youth in a programme designed to challenge the influence of criminal activity, through sports and mentorship.
  • It will leverage sports as part of a development methodology incorporating several disciplines, including cricket, football, netball and track and field, through which athletes will engage youth.
  • “When I got the call that my daughter has been chosen for Project GOLD, I was so excited for her, because she (is) getting the opportunity (to make a better life beyond the community). I knew she always had a passion for running, and she would always say ‘Mommy, mi a go run’ and I know (that) by running, she (will) get to achieve something better,” she said.

Parents in August Town, St. Andrew, are excited about the recently launched Project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development) initiative that will engage youth in a programme designed to challenge the influence of criminal activity, through sports and mentorship.

The pilot, which kicked off in the community on Saturday, April 7, is the brainchild of Jamaica’s former netball team captain, Simone Forbes.

It will leverage sports as part of a development methodology incorporating several disciplines, including cricket, football, netball and track and field, through which athletes will engage youth.

One mother from the community, Ishana Linton, described the programme as a significant opportunity for her daughter, who is an aspiring track and field athlete.

“When I got the call that my daughter has been chosen for Project GOLD, I was so excited for her, because she (is) getting the opportunity (to make a better life beyond the community). I knew she always had a passion for running, and she would always say ‘Mommy, mi a go run’ and I know (that) by running, she (will) get to achieve something better,” she said.

Ms. Linton was speaking at the initiative’s launch on Friday, April 6 at the Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill in New Kingston.

“When I attended that first meeting, I realised that the programme is not about a perfect child… . It’s about a child (who’s) going through a lot of difficulties, like my child. It’s about helping her to build up her charisma, helping her to go ahead (and) to achieve her goals,” she said.

Ms. Linton added that she is prepared to make the time to take her daughter to the workshops, which will run for eight weeks.

“As long as it’s beneficial to my daughter, I will put everything behind, and I am going to find the time. I alone can’t grow my daughter. At least, through this, I can get four or five more hands to help raise her, instead of the one hand now,” she said.

Project GOLD is born out of collaboration among notable Jamaican athletes, namely, netballer Simone Forbes; Olympian and track and field star, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; cricketer, Chris Gayle; and former national football team captain, Ricardo “Bibi” Gardner, who are patrons of the initiative. It aims to provide hope, inspiration and examples of positive role models.

Project GOLD will help participants, aged 11 to 17, to set goals and learn how to commit to them.

It will also provide family life, parenting skills and entrepreneurship training for at least 15 parents and caregivers of the participants.

The pilot in August Town will culminate in a community run involving approximately 300 parents and supporters of the 30 participants.

Project GOLD will be expanded to other locations across the country, following the pilot’s implementation.

The initiative is being done through partnership with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III and the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE).

Other sponsors include the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus; Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill; KLAS-FM; Grace Foods; the August Town Community Development Centre; and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

JIS Social