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Story Highlights

  • State Minister for National Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. is encouraging more community organisations to join with the Government in the drive to reduce violence among young people.
  • “Working together, all of us can build a more peaceful and prosperous Jamaica for all Jamaicans, especially for our young people,” he said.
  • Mr. Charles was speaking at a forum on reducing youth violence held on March 17 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

State Minister for National Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. is encouraging more community organisations to join with the Government in the drive to reduce violence among young people.

“Working together, all of us can build a more peaceful and prosperous Jamaica for all Jamaicans, especially for our young people,” he said.

Mr. Charles was speaking at a forum on reducing youth violence held on March 17 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

The event was hosted by the Brazil-based Fight For Peace (FFP) organisation in collaboration with the Ministry and the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA).

The State Minister praised the “bold and innovative” measures being employed by FFP in addressing youth violence in countries in which it operates.  These include using boxing and martial arts combined with personal development training.

“The work of Fight for Peace in tackling youth violence in Rio and in 25 other countries, has given the organisation a wealth of knowledge and experience that we believe, will be very helpful to us in our efforts to combat youth violence here in Jamaica,” he said.

Mr. Charles said it is noteworthy that the organisation plans to target young people, who are at risk of getting involved in crime and violence, those already entrenched in violent criminal activity, and those inside the justice system.

“Now, this is the kind of direct, targeted intervention that we need,” he noted.

A non-government entity, FFP has developed an integrated and holistic five-pillar methodology, which, in addition to boxing and martial arts, also include education, employability training, youth leadership and support services.

This methodology has proven effective in the FFP academics in Rio de Janeiro and London, and in assisting its 140 partner organisations in 25 countries to better serve the young people in their communities.

Eleven Jamaican entities are part of the FFP network: They are Boys Town; BREDS Treasure Beach Foundation; Capoeira Alafia project; Children First; Fletcher’s Land Management Benevolent Society; Joy Town Community Development Foundation; Jamaican Boxing Board of Control; Jamaica Defence Force (JDF); Peace Management Initiative (PMI); RiseLife Management Services; and Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE).

This year, FPP opened an office in Kingston to expand its work in Jamaica and bring together a network of community-based organisations and national stakeholders.

The objective is to develop, test and codify a model for a collaborative approach to youth violence prevention that can be replicated in other communities and other countries.