Minister of Water and Housing and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, has commended the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) for restoring hope to youths in troubled communities.
“The crime and associated problems and challenges faced in Jamaica, cannot be solved only by policing. The short and long term solution is to restore hope and opportunity to our youths, especially in (our) inner city communities,” Dr. Chang said.
He commended the CSJP for seeking to do that by identifying, supporting and restoring self-respect among bright youths from these areas.
Dr. Chang was speaking at Friday’s (September 24) CSJP scholarship presentation ceremony at the Wexford Hotel, Montego Bay. CSJP is the Ministry of National Security’s crime prevention initiative, involving the development of a national crime and violence prevention strategy, capacity enhancement of the Ministry, strengthening of the criminal justice system and community action.
Montego Bay Community College Student, Tres-Ann Glenn (right) proudly receives her scholarship award from Chairman of the St. James Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Rev. Everton Jackson, during a presentation ceremony at the Wexford Hotel, Montego Bay on Friday (September 24).
Scholarships were handed out to some 461 students of secondary, high and tertiary institutions across western Jamaica. Recipients were drawn from 11 inner city communities in St. James and Westmoreland.
On Friday, 461 youths from 11 inner city communities in St. James and Westmoreland were presented with scholarships. This presentation followed another held last week in Kingston, at which some 1,400 youths received scholarships to assist in their schooling at secondary, high and tertiary institutions.
These scholarships, costing approximately $100 million, represented the largest disbursement by CSJP in its three-year-old scholarship programme, which is geared to addressing joblessness and lack of employability in volatile inner city communities.
In his address, Dr. Chang made special mention of the youths from inner city communities who continue to do ‘very well educationally’.
“Many of these successful young people are enrolled in universities, teachers’ colleges and other tertiary institutions, and we must unite and see how we can work together to support and laud them for their progress and successes,” Dr. Chang said.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, said that empowerment of the human resource must be at the heart of any intervention for advancement in any society.
“We, at the Ministry of National Security, are convinced that a much more coordinated approach will lead the way to empowerment by endeavours through education, and will serve to help in building effective crime prevention programmes that will help to secure communities and make them safe,” she said
She noted that the model crafted by the Ministry is intended to engender high-level participation of Jamaicans, and is driven by educational standards that will enhance confidence, control and belief in people’s ability to change their own lives.
“And so it is for this reason that the Ministry of National Security has sought to re-establish education as one of the pivotal values for a well-built democratic society,” she said.
Programme Manager of CSJP, Simeon Robinson, observed that education provided the means necessary to boost the employability prospects of residents from volatile communities, and equip them to contribute more effectively and meaningfully to community development.
“As a crime prevention programme, CSJP is always seeking to be on the cutting edge of strategies proven to break the nexus between crime and unemployment,” he said.