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Prime Minister Bruce Golding says he wants to review the landscape of charitable organisations to see whether there is anything government can do to induce greater responses and to configure its involvement with the private sector and business activities, so as to provide more space for greater responses to organisations like the Kingston YMCA.
Mr. Golding was addressing the 88th anniversary banquet of the Kingston YMCA at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last night (June 12). To demonstrate government’s commitment, Mr. Golding announced that he would be setting aside $5-million dollars to go to the YMCA to assist it with continuing its work to help rescue and transform people’s lives.
Mr. Golding said one of the greatest challenges facing Jamaica now has to do with the role of the YMCA, which is to focus on young men. In the course of recognising the need for gender equality, he said Jamaica has found itself in a situation where we need to redress an imbalance that has been visited on the society. ‘The country will now have to target initiatives to get young men who are not just being failed by us but who are failing us’, he said.
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GOVERNMENT TO HELP GENERATE GREATER RESPONSE./2
Mr. Golding said the crime rate indicated that over 80% of the crime committed is being done by young men between the ages of 16-30. ‘When you look at the performance coming out of schools, it is our young men who are failing’.
He said the police force is also experiencing a problem, as 80% of applications are coming from women and so it now faced the problem of holding back the recruitment of women in the hope of getting more men. He said Jamaica runs the risk of having the majority of women who have to go out there to fight crime. He said with all the gender neutrality he could not rest knowing that women are being sent in to battle the kind of criminal elements out there.
‘We are going to need some specific intervention to rescue these young men who are growing up so completely disoriented. The YMCA is the oldest organisation which has been committed to rescuing men as part of their focus’, Mr. Golding said.
Last night’s function recognised the contribution of a number of companies and individuals who have contributed to the YMCA over the years. These included Jamaica National Building Society, Tank Weld, J.H Dunstan & Associates, WB Trophies, Burger King, West Indies Alumina Company, Rev C. Evans- Bailey and the Rev Canon Weevile Gordon. A special honouree, Dr Horace Fisher was recognised by the YMCA’s General Secretary, Sarah Newland-Martin. He was presented with his award by Prime Minister Golding.