JIS News

Senior citizens of Clarendon will be given an opportunity to showcase their skills at the annual Senior Citizens’ Cultural Day, to be held at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in May Pen on June 19.
Participants will display their expertise in the areas of dance, food preparation, modelling (fashion show) and handicraft, among other things. There will also be a cultural exhibition and demonstrations to promote cultural retention and enhance the feeling of self worth.
Nova Williams-Taylor, Parish Co-ordinator for the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) in Clarendon, informed JIS News that the seniors are organized in clubs, based on the communities in which they reside. They meet at the activity centre two days each week, where they work on various projects.
“There are 19 active clubs with an average membership of 40 persons. There is no club with less than 20 persons. The seniors come out regularly, except for times when they are unable to foot the cost of transportation,” Mrs. Williams-Taylor pointed out.
The NCSC is an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and caters to the welfare of senior citizens in Jamaica. Parish officers co-ordinate activities within the various parishes.
On March 12, 1997, then Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, tabled a National Policy for Senior Citizens in Parliament, signalling the Government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of seniors.
The NCSC programmes focus mainly on Education and Training, Income Security, and Health. As a result, throughout the course of the year, seniors across the island participate in various activities and programmes, including Senior Men’s domino tournaments, Poster and Essay competitions, Cultural Day and Handicraft Skill Training.
The seniors also participate in regular competitions, which take place at the parish, regional or national levels. In some instances, they take part in international competitions.