Gov’t to Accelerate Establishment of Youth Information Centres


Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that the government plans to accelerate the establishment of Youth Information Centres (YIC) across the island.
The move, she said, was part of the continued partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
She noted that the YICs, as central points of access for the youth, were poised to play a greater role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as provide opportunities for young people to be tested.
The Information Minister was speaking at a roundtable discussion entitled: ‘Children’s Advocates and Ombudspersons – Experiences, Challenges and Successes’ which was hosted by the Office of the Children’s Advocate in collaboration with UNICEF on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Citing recent statistics, Minister Grange said that 802 young persons in the 15 to 24 age cohort had AIDS, of which 505 of them were females. “In partnership with UNICEF, I am committed to help to change these statistics,” Minister Grange asserted, while lauding the efforts of all stakeholders, who work with children and in HIV prevention. “Today, we remain relentless in our efforts and fight amidst all the constraints and challenges,” she said.
Turning to other issues, the Minister expressed concern about the challenges facing single female parent households, the absence or limited existence of male role models, and the marginalization of boys in the society.
“The Ministry will seek all the support necessary to create diversions for young men to make them less exposed to activities, which adversely affect their lives as well as the lives of others,” she informed. To this end, she stressed that the creation of job opportunities was high on the agenda of the new administration. “I can speak on behalf of the Prime Minister and the government that we are determined to make a positive impact in this area,” she stated.

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