JIS News

Hundreds of citizens turned out today (April 24) at the Ministry of National Security for the Citizens Justice and Security Programme’s(CJSP) Opportunity Fair, at the Agency for Inner-City Renewal, Trench Town, Kingston.
Citizens of the communities were given the opportunity to get on the national grid by registering for birth certificates, National Insurance (NIS) cards and their Tax Registration Number (TRN).
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Community Action Officer, Unicie Delapena, said that she was overwhelmed by the turn out.
“The turn out is extremely overwhelming. People are interested in seeing their HIV status, they are flocking the agency, because they need to know what their status is. That is very good,” she said
According to Ms. Delapena, the Registrar General’s Department(RGD) booth received extra-ordinary visits by the residents, as there are a vast number of persons in the community who are not registered.
“The RGD has been getting overwhelming support for persons who are in need of their birth certificates. They are, however, happy that the agencies can come to them to give them the benefit,” she said.
She appealed to other agencies to take their businesses to these communities, because there is need for the services.
“We are getting big support and as such(we are) encouraging other stakeholders to be a part of these types of occasions,” she said
The agencies said that they were grateful for the opportunity to take their products into the communities and were amazed by the support.
Alistair Scott, from the Social Development Commission(SDC), told JIS News that persons have shown increased interest in the codes of conduct books.
“Our books on the code of conduct between the police and citizens, have been going quickly. People have been expressing interest in looking on the community-based organizations in the various communities,” he says
He has encouraged persons to be a part of a working group that will help improve governance in Jamaica.
“We are hoping that persons, who don’t belong to any particular group, can come in today and know about our working communities. They should now join and become a part of governance in Jamaica,” he encouraged.
Sharing similar sentiments, Loans Field Officer for MICO Enterprise Financing Limited, Ricardo Smith, said that the response from the community has been enriching, and he is anticipating more support.
He said that it is overwhelming to see persons showing interest in starting their own businesses.
“Persons are mainly asking for loans to start their own businesses. I must say that it is a positive outlook, but we are not really providing loans for person to start up. We offer it for those who are already in business,” he explained.
“There are persons who have come to us and they have already started their business, and we will be assisting them as best as possible,” he added.
The citizens have given the Government high praise for the opportunity being afforded to them, as they could not afford it on their own.
Denise Vessel explained that she wanted to do a cholesterol test for many years, but found it rather hard because of the expense.
“I have already done my blood pressure test and registered for a birth certificate. What I am extremely happy for is the cholesterol test, because for a very long time I wanted to do this test but could not. So I am thanking the authorities for this opportunity,” she said.
The CSJP is a social intervention project under the Ministry of National Security, which seeks to provide a range of violence prevention services to 15 communities across the Kingston Metropolitan Area and St. Andrew. It also provides services in 11 other areas in Montego Bay and Savanna-La- Mar, including skills training, educational services, parenting education, life skills and capacity building.

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