JSIF Lauded for Social Intervention Initiatives in Mt. Salem

Photo: Adrian Walker President of the Mount Salem Community Development Committee, in St. James, Winsome Barnes, highlights activities being undertaken in the community by the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) Social Intervention Committee, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on February 27. At right is Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Omar Sweeney. Mr. Sweeney is also Managing Director of JSIF.

Story Highlights

  • President of the Mount Salem Community Development Committee, in St. James, Winsome Barnes, has lauded the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and other participating agencies for the effective implementation of social intervention initiatives that are already bearing fruit.
  • “We have been working with JSIF for six months now and it has been good, as several other agencies have come on board in a more active way. We are engaging community members through work and skills training programmes, sporting competitions and other initiatives to transform the community,” Ms. Barnes told JIS News.
  • Mount Salem was declared the first Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) on September 1, under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017, which gives the security forces certain essential powers required to address serious crimes, while upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

President of the Mount Salem Community Development Committee, in St. James, Winsome Barnes, has lauded the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and other participating agencies for the effective implementation of social intervention initiatives that are already bearing fruit.

“We have been working with JSIF for six months now and it has been good, as several other agencies have come on board in a more active way. We are engaging community members through work and skills training programmes, sporting competitions and other initiatives to transform the community,” Ms. Barnes told JIS News.

In terms of the physical environment, she outlined that strategies are focused on sanitation, solid waste removal, utility regularisation, bushing and improving road conditions.

She informed that the community clean-up saw some 80 persons employed on a short-term basis with 24 truckloads of solid waste removed.

Mount Salem was declared the first Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) on September 1, under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017, which gives the security forces certain essential powers required to address serious crimes, while upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate, will also facilitate the implementation of key social interventions in communities adversely affected by crime and violence.

The National Water Commission (NWC) has been regularizing households within the area, with 115 already formalized under the initiative.

“HEART Trust/NTA is also carrying out programmes in the community, such as block laying, tiling and welding. There is also a digitization programme underway through the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme; 25 community leaders participated in an animation training programme and another 20 residents were trained by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as curfew monitors,” Ms. Barnes outlined.

“So, the community is now coming out and being engaged and these are programmes that are geared towards making them better persons as we are teaching them a skill, so that they can go back within the community and contribute towards its development,” the President added.

Residents have also benefited from various services offered at community fairs held in the community.

A number of entities were on hand to process important documents for residents who also benefited from free medical and dental checks.

The entities included the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), HEART Trust/NTA, National Youth Service (NYS), Ministry of Labour and Social Security, JSIF, and the Ministry of National Security.

Some 210 birth certificates were distributed, 97 students received back-to-school supplies and 100 beneficiaries received supplies from the Mount Salem Seventh Day Adventist Church’s outreach initiative.

As it relates to upcoming projects and activities, Ms. Barnes noted that through the zinc fence removal project, about 1,000 metres of zinc fence structures will be removed and two miles of roadway will be rehabilitated.

Other projects include the construction of six skips and rehabilitation work at the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School.

Some 100 persons have been recruited for the skills training programme and 30 parents are to participate in workshops to be conducted by the National Parenting Support Commission.

The President said community meetings are held to provide updates for residents on the progress of projects, timelines and initiatives to be implemented to further develop the community.

“These are all interventions that are benefiting Mount Salem and we are holding everybody accountable, including ourselves. It is our responsibility to build on what we have been given,” Ms. Barnes said.

JIS Social