JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of the Goodwin Park Boys Hostel, operated under the Possibility Programme, are now benefitting from a reading room, outfitted with over 800 books.
  • The reading room, which was established by the National Youth Service (NYS) in collaboration with the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, was unveiled on Monday, September 8.
  • The books were collected through the NYS’ Summer Programme Book Drive, in preparation for International Literacy Day, which was observed on Monday.

Residents of the Goodwin Park Boys Hostel, operated under the Possibility Programme, are now benefitting from a reading room, outfitted with over 800 books.

The reading room, which was established by the National Youth Service (NYS) in collaboration with the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, was unveiled on Monday, September 8, at the hostel’s premises on South Camp Road, Kingston.

The books were collected through the NYS’ Summer Programme Book Drive, in preparation for International Literacy Day, which was observed on Monday.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Chairman of the Possibility Programme, Robert Gibbs, said the opening of the reading room is in keeping with the programme’s mandate of enriching and empowering the lives of young men ages 10 to 18.

“This initiative aligns itself quite nicely with one of our objectives, which is to improve the literacy of these young men…literacy is one of the key avenues that young persons will use to make them more ready for society. This will no doubt be a very good avenue for them to pass their time,” he stated.

Mr. Gibbs said the hostel is one method through which the Possibility Programme reaches young men, pointing out that there have been a number of successes, such as beneficiaries gaining employment through an apprenticeship scheme.

Senior Acting Programmes Director in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Miguel Williams, who represented portfolio Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, expressed appreciation to the NYS and its partners for undertaking the project, noting that initiatives such as these are important.

Mr. Williams urged the boys and young men to utilize the books, describing the donation as a “blessing”.

“Take charge and use the resources positively, and realize the possibilities that are out there awaiting you,” he added.

International Literacy Day was declared by United Nations in 1966, and is this year being celebrated under the theme: ‘Literacy and sustainable development’.

The Goodwin Park Boys Hostel was established in 2006 for at-risk and street boys.

The Possibility Programme is administered by an independent board and a number of partner agencies including the St. Andrew Parish Church, the HEART Trust/NTA, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the National Council on Drug Abuse, St. Patrick’s Foundation, the Kingston Restoration Company, the LEAP Centre, and the Rotary Club of St. Andrew.

The programme aims to: develop a coordinated approach to the social problems of street children, remove children and youth, who wipe windscreens at intersections and have them enrolled in a project of skills training, academic learning, apprenticeship and job placement, as well as stem the flow of children on the streets.