JIS News

Executive Director of the RISE Life Management Services (formerly Addiction Alert), Sonita Morin Abrahams, has said that the social intervention programmes offered through the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) has been very beneficial to the various communities in which it were implemented.
The RISE Life Management Services received a five-year grant from the Ministry of National Security to undertake interventions on behalf of the CSJP, which is currently operating in six inner city communities, namely Drewsland, Waterhouse, Tower Hill, Allman Town, Parade Gardens and Fletchers Land.
“The CSJP began in 2001 and we are currently just beginning our fifth and final year and it is our hope that this programme will be able to continue afterwards, because it’s such an important programme for the empowerment of our inner city communities,” said Mrs. Morin Abrahams in an interview with JIS News.
“It is actually a critical programme, because it includes remedial education which is really badly needed. It (also) includes life skills training, parenting skills, counselling services, home visits, so it is really an excellent programme and one that needs to continue at all cost,” she added.
The Executive Director informed JIS News that many of the young people within the communities who have been attending the remedial classes were doing significantly better in school.
“We find that their behaviour has improved; we also have behaviour modification programmes where they get points for good behaviour and they’re able to translate those points into gifts at the end of a month. So there are strong motivations for them to improve and not only in their school work but in their discipline, punctuality and so many areas in their lives,” she said.
“We also feed these young people everyday, so we provide over 550 meals every single day to the participants in this programme,” she noted.Mrs. Morin Abrahams told JIS News that the feedback from parents has been positive.
“Parents have told us that they’re behaving much better at home, that in fact they’re eager to go to school, they don’t want to miss school and we’re just getting more and more requests from young people to join the programme,” she said.
“We work on the ground and it really is about empowering young people and giving them a choice, so that they know that if they come to classes they have an opportunity to continue their education and to receive a vocational skill, so that they can earn an honest living,” the Executive Director said.
The Addiction Alert organization was established by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica in 1989. Based on the organization’s experience over the years, the direction and focus of the programme has been reviewed and adjusted, in order to meet the current needs of young people at risk in Jamaica, particularly those living in inner city communities.

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