JIS News

The Kingston Restoration Company on Thursday (June 23) donated some $1.6 million in grant funding to 14 Kingston-based projects under its Urban Renewal Trust Fund (URTF).
Recipients were the Allman Town Skills Training Institute, the Allman Town Primary School, Anglican Deaconess House, Barnes Basic School, Brown’s Hall Community Development Council, Crescent Road Basic School, First Missionary Basic School, Harker’s Hall Basic School, Higholborn Street Basic School, the Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child, Jamaica National Children’s Home, Love and Faith Basic School, Maverley Consultative Committee and the Sabina Basic School.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kingston Restoration Foundation, Maurice Facey, speaking at the grants ceremony held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, said the recipients represented the largest set of successful projects to benefit under the fund, which since its inception, has helped over 75 projects in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. James.
He said the fund has been able to make a positive impact on the livelihood of some 6,000 individuals island wide. Mr. Facey noted that the intention of the URTF was to assist more projects in the future. Set up in 1999 with funding from the United Kingdom/Jamaica Commonwealth Debt Initiative, the URTF aims to revitalize urban communities through the provision of grants to qualified applicants to implement projects to improve the quality of life for residents of poor urban communities.
Projects are funded in the areas of: capacity building, education, environment and shelter and micro-enterprise.
Guest speaker at the event and head of the Violence Prevention Alliance, Dr. Elizabeth Ward lauded the KRC’s efforts, while calling for an expansion of social intervention programmes to reduce community violence.
She noted that crime remained Jamaica’s biggest problem, with official reports placing Jamaica at number three in the world for violent crimes. She noted that homicide was the fifth leading cause of death overall as well as the leading cause of death for men in Jamaica.
Data collected through the Jamaica Injury Surveillance System (JISS) indicated that 85 to 90 per cent of the injuries came from the downtown Kingston up to Half-way-Tree areas and a section of August Town.
Dr. Ward noted that besides death, there were other effects of violence with persons suffering physically and psychologically.
Meanwhile, with statistics showing that the island’s 350 clinics spent some 700 million per year to treat injuries, Dr. Ward noted that if the number of incidents could be reduced, the resources could be used to tend to other critical areas. She stated, that 90 per cent of all violent injuries could be prevented and noted that the Alliance continued to make this its primary focus.
“So we need to understand what really works and how we can prevent injuries.at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels,” she said while pointing out that good parenting was one of the most effective planks to minimize violence at the primary level.
She noted that public health involvement in the process was to assess risk and protective factors, design workable interventions and engineer projects for implementation.
A vital part of this process is the gathering of statistics through the JISS system, which provides data on the age groups of victims, the types of injuries, the perpetrators, the locations, among other things.
Dr. Ward said the JISS also examined the positives taking place in communities though the involvement of institutions in the growth and development of persons in the areas, so as to replicate the projects in other problem spots.