Minister of Water and Housing and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, officially launched the Social Intervention Programme in his constituency on Friday March 18.
The programme, established in 2009, is designed to stem anti-social behaviour, and afford young people educational and training opportunities.
It has seen successes where young persons have been put on positive paths to economic enablement. Prominent among the success stories, is one in which 98 young persons are currently being taught life skills, language arts, mathematics and general knowledge.
Addressing the launch, Dr. Chang said that the basic concept was to have community intervention in every community, to address the needs of the young people.
“A good example of the programme is the Flanker community, that has several kinds of community interventions initiated many years ago by FLANKADOC, Peace Management Initiative, (PMI) and the Jamaica Social Investment Foundation (JSIF) which is doing some work within the community, as well as home work, training and anger management programmes, in addition to Dispute Resolution activities and community mediators,” Dr. Chang noted.
He pointed out that there was still need to pull in some of the 'tough guys', which would be the focus over the next year.
“Part of that plan was to take community training in basic literacy, numeracy, social aspects of development, health issues for young adults and basically re- integrate them into the formal system, and let them be part of it and give them the opportunity to develop their own talents and then move them into the centre of excellence training that we have in Glendevon, a programme which has now gone to procurement. We expect that in April that should begin where we will move aggressively into recruiting and involving our young individuals in the programme”, Dr. Chang observed.
He expressed commendation to the St. James Parish Council which assisted the establishment of the initiative by waiving all the fees, the HEART Trust/NTA for the planning aspects and the Citizens Security and Justice Programming (CSJP) for the funding support.
The Social Intervention Programme, now in its second year, has seen four families registered in the PATH Programme, 13 applications made to the Register General’s Department (RGD) for birth certificates, nine persons receiving TRN certificates, nine persons receiving NIS cards and four youth clubs formed, among other successes.
By GLENIS ROSE