JIS News

Forty-three residents of 27 inner-city communities in Kingston, St. Catherine and St. Thomas and eight law enforcement personnel, who serve some of these areas, yesterday (April 30) graduated from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) youth leadership training programme.
The training course, held in collaboration with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), is an initiative of the JCC’s Civic Affairs and Inner City Development Committees. The aim is to improve the relationship between citizens and police in order to reduce crime and to provide residents with the skills to contribute to the development of their communities.
At the graduation ceremony held at the JCC’s Downtown Kingston office, the participants received certificates for successfully completing six weeks of training in interpersonal skills, human relations, entrepreneurship and marketing, conflict resolution, family life, and employability skills.
Minister of National Security Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, in his address at the function, commended the JCC for putting the training programme in place, while lauding the emphasis on integrating police and citizens.
He urged the graduates to “be proud of the communities from whence you came, and to impart the knowledge gained to others.
“Those in your communities, who cannot benefit from programmes like these, must benefit from your experience. You must go back in your communities and teach them. Teach them that (they) don’t have to settle disputes violently.” he stated.
President of the JCC, Milton Samuda, also urged the graduates to use the skills gained for the betterment of their communities.
“Lead by example. Your action should be consistent with your message and your message must be consistent with the leadership you have been prepared for,” he said.
Director of Corporate Education and Management Services Solution at the UCC Donna McKinley, informed that the course was carefully designed to meet the specific needs of the communities in which the participants live.
The training, she said, helped to assist the residents to understand their own value system and for the law officers, to respect the values of those with whom they relate. Participants are expected to use the strategies learnt to negotiate and manoeuvre through conflict in the communities they live and work.
“They will increasingly understand and play their roles in developing their communities and themselves, to ultimately move themselves and their communities in a new and positive direction, thus creating a synergy of productivity, peace and prosperity,” Ms. McKinley stated.
Yanique Williams of a St. Thomas community, who was voted the top female in the programme, told JIS News that the overall experience was very rewarding. “I am a part of a community club, so I am definitely going to give back to my community in that way, because I will go back and teach some of what I have learnt,” she said.
Among the 27 communities to benefit were Waltham Park, Tivoli Gardens, Rockfort, Denham Town, Majestic Gardens, Stony Hill, Arnett Gardens, Hunts Bay, Vineyard Town, Manley Meadows, Coburn Gardens, Seaview Gardens, and Mountain View in Kingston; Portmore and Spanish Town in St. Catherine; and Bull Bay and Golden Valley in St. Thomas.
The law enforcement personnel comprised members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Divisions in Kingston Central, Kingston Eastern, St. Andrew North and Hunt’s Bay, and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF).

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