Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of inner-city communities across the island, who have benefited from life skills training, are being urged to lead the process of change within their communities.
  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, issued the charge to graduates of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) Civic Affairs/Inner-city Development Committee Youth Leadership Programme
  • The 41 participants, including five police personnel from the East Kingston and Spanish Town divisions of the Community Safety and Security Branch, were trained in conflict management, interpersonal skills, human relations, community leadership, employability skills, entrepreneurship and family life over a six-week period.

Residents of inner-city communities across the island, who have benefited from life skills training, are being urged to lead the process of change within their communities.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, issued the charge to graduates of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) Civic Affairs/Inner-city Development Committee Youth Leadership Programme, at a ceremony held on Thursday (December 18), at the JCC’s headquarters, downtown Kingston.

The 41 participants, including five police personnel from the East Kingston and Spanish Town divisions of the Community Safety and Security Branch, were trained in conflict management, interpersonal skills, human relations, community leadership, employability skills, entrepreneurship and family life over a six-week period.

Minister Paulwell lauded the programme as an important intervention that is working to empower inner-city youth, who are the country’s future leaders.

Citing his humble beginnings in Norman Gardens, East Kingston, Minister Paulwell, who is the Member of Parliament for the area, told the graduates that they can also “chart a course that takes you into leadership.”

“Our country needs new leaders…we need to refresh ourselves and that refreshment will come from people like you; young persons, who have to get back into the communities to teach others to be real role models,” he said.

 

He also implored the graduates to use the skills they have acquired to become better citizens, and to create for themselves “an economic path that will make you able to contribute to your development, your families and eventually our country.”

Valedictorian, Samantha Clarke, shared that many of the graduates hail from inner-city communities that face social and economic challenges.

Ms. Clarke noted, however, that it was the desire to change their situations that led the participants to get involved in the programme.

She said the initiative has taught them many valuable skills and expressed gratitude that they now “truly understand how to communicate effectively, how to be a leader, an entrepreneur, and a better parent.”

Ms. Clarke said with the new skills acquired, the graduates now have the responsibility to be change agents “and assist in solving the problems that face our families, our communities and our nation.”

“We are the future leaders, mediators, social workers, educators, lawyers, guidance counsellors. Let’s flourish and succeed. Our past mistakes and circumstances do not define us, being here today, proves that we do not have to be the product of our circumstances but the product of our aspirations,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Inner-City Development Committee, Hon. Sameer Younis, noted that with the wide cross section of participants, the programme has succeeded in breaking political barriers.

He implored the graduates to make the most of the “once in a lifetime” opportunity afforded by the programme. “I’m asking you to take what you have learnt back into your communities and take some of the children under your wing and teach them what you have learnt,” he said.

 

The Civic Affairs/Inner-City Development Committee Youth Leadership Programme seeks to improve the relationship between citizens and the police, in order to reduce crime and to provide residents with the skills to contribute to the development of their communities.

The graduates, who represent the 59th cohort of the programme, hail from the communities of Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Bull Bay, August Town, Allman Town, Central Kingston, St. Thomas, Seivwright Gardens, South Side, Rae Town, Seaview Gardens, Fletcher’s Land, Spanish Town, Rollington Town, Mountain View, Christian Gardens, Portmore, Franklin Town, Brown’s Town, Kingston 16, Tel Aviv, Waterhouse and South Borough.

A total of 59 persons started the programme, with 41 persons successfully completing the course, which was held in collaboration with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC).

Since the programme’s inception in 1992, over 3,000 persons have received training.

 

Skip to content