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JIS News

A youth information fair was held on October 16, at the Vere Technical High School, in Hayes, Clarendon, by the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Social Development Commission (SDC), Clarendon Office.
The NCYD Empowerment Officer for Clarendon, Ms. Jacinth Wiltshire, told JIS News that the reason for staging the fair was that accessing information was an important aspect of empowerment.
“This information fair is a collaborative effort, as the organisations all work with community persons to empower them, so that they can actualise their full potential. We believe that accessing information is an important aspect of empowerment,” she explained.
She pointed out that the target group was young people from the Hayes community, as 75 per cent of the residents were within the 18-60 age group, which comprised the working population, and that approximately 80 per cent of this group was unemployed.
“Many young persons leave high school and continue to be dependent on their family. They are sometimes faced with financial constraints and become frustrated and turn to crime, violence, drugs and promiscuous activities,” she said.
Miss Wiltshire pointed out that the information fair was to provide young people with an opportunity to know that there are options and that there are organisations with opportunities to be explored.
She implored the young persons attending the fair to “make use of the opportunities” and “ask questions,” so that they could be informed of the options that are available.
Meanwhile, Councillor for the Hayes Division, Mr. Scean Barnswell, said that the young people of the Hayes community needed the information fair, in order to access information from various agencies.
“This information fair is something which is long overdue, based on what is happening in the Hayes area. It is a high concentration of young people and what I found out is that the young people were lacking in information, as it relates to different agencies that are available to assist them to get involved, whether on a personal basis or to further themselves in terms of personal development,” he said.
An NYS participant, Ms. Jana Findlay, said the fair augured well for the young people of the Hayes community, as it served to inform and educate them about options that are available to young persons.
“It educates and highlights what is taking place in our society and for the Hayes community, it’s a good programme to share with the young people of the community, to encourage them that you do not have to turn to crime, but we can do things to edify ourselves, to be better young people of tomorrow’s society,” she said.
Some of the agencies at the fair were: HEART Trust/NTA, Clarendon Co-operative Credit Union, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica Foundation For Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Colgate Palmolive Company Limited, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

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