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  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, has said he will be working to re-establish the National Youth Club movement.
  • Senator Newby said that this would enable the engagement of more youths in national development, particularly as it relates to Vision 2030.
  • "We realise and recognise the value that these community-based youth organisations add to the whole business of youth development, and want to work closely to empower their capabilities to add new components to that which they do; all underpinned by Vision 2030," Senator Newby said.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, has said he will be working to re-establish the National Youth Club movement.

Senator Newby said that this would enable the engagement of more youths in national development, particularly as it relates to Vision 2030.

“We realise and recognise the value that these community-based youth organisations add to the whole business of youth development, and want to work closely to empower their capabilities to add new components to that which they do; all underpinned by Vision 2030,” Senator Newby said.

Under this initiative, he is also hoping to collaborate with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) to provide training for young people in the areas of disaster mitigation and emergency management.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby (left) meeting with Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson, on a new programme to engage young people in disaster mitigation and preparedness, on Tuesday (February 23) at ODPEM, Haining Road, New Kingston.

In a meeting with Director General of the ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, and representatives of several youth organisations, Senator Newby proposed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further execute the partnership.

The meeting was held on Tuesday (February 23) at ODPEM’s offices, Haining Road, New Kingston.

“We have looked at a (number) of areas, including the constitutional framework of the youth club movement and we have made some adjustments,” he said.

He noted that, currently, the draft constitution is on tour around the country, for consultations with the youth clubs. There is also an audit being done by the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) as to the leadership capabilities of the clubs.

Senator Newby said that the SDC was also conducting a needs assessment, with a view to defining Government’s role in strengthening youth organisations, as well as capacity building in a number of areas, including leadership, project writing and social venture capital financing.

Senator Newby said under Vision 2030, the Government has identified six focal points to engage the youth, including education, health, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurship, disaster management and mitigation and sports and culture.

“We believe the youth clubs are ideally placed to provide leadership and field resources in building a culture around these national goals. We want to set in (motion) a couple of programmes that will inculcate into the leadership and the wider bodies of these youth clubs these core values that will help us to achieve Vision 2030,” he said.

Senator Newby highlighted disaster preparedness and emergency management as one of the critical focal points.

“It is our desire to train 2,000 volunteers annually in disaster planning, disaster mitigation, emergency management and post emergency management,” he proposed.

The Ministry is also hoping to partner with the Department of Local Government, the Cuban Embassy and Mona Geo Informatics on the project.

In the meantime, Mr. Jackson also expressed his desire to join forces with the Ministry to provide guidance to young people across Jamaica in disaster mitigation. He said it was an area that ODPEM has long been interested in.

“The Prime Minister had asked us to look at a training programme for youth in schools, which was again in line with our strategic thinking,” he commented.

“We (started) with the Cadet Corps and we’re really looking at broadening that engagement to the youths in high school, and to anybody who want to participate in the activities,” he added.

Mr. Jackson said the organisation has also worked very closely with youths in the National Youth Service (NYS) programme, as well as those in the inner city.

He said, so far, some 370 youths have been trained in the Preparedness, Emergency and Response Corps (PERC) programme less than a year and proposed that a similar training programme could be organised with the Ministry.

“The focus would be to train them in basic disaster management, risk mitigation, first aid, principles of shelter management, incident command systems and telecommunications training, damage assessment and light level search and rescue and how to extricate persons from collapsed structures,” he recommended.

Mr. Jackson also said that he would like to see a lot more males participating in the initiative, because it was necessary to restore the males in society.

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