JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Thirty five additional Mentors have been trained under the third instalment of the mentorship component of theWe Transform Youth Empowerment and Reintegration Programme.
  • The training session was held on Friday (July 19), at the Ministry of National Security, Oxford Road, in Kingston.
  • The We Transform Youth Empowerment and Reintegration Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). It is the Ministry’s flagship youth transformation programme geared at providing children aged 12 to 17, in the care of the DCS, with the requisite skill set, character and support to become productive citizens.

Thirty five additional Mentors have been trained under the third instalment of the mentorship component of the We Transform Youth Empowerment and Reintegration Programme.

The training session was held on Friday (July 19), at the Ministry of National Security, Oxford Road, in Kingston.

The We Transform Youth Empowerment and Reintegration Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). It is the Ministry’s flagship youth transformation programme geared at providing children aged 12 to 17, in the care of the DCS, with the requisite skill set, character and support to become productive citizens.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who brought greetings at the event,thanked the volunteers forcommitting their time to change the lives of young persons in need.

“I want you to understand it is one of the most important roles that any Jamaican can play, because you are going to shape young minds. You have it within your grasp to determine what these young people will eventually turn out to be.We are extremely grateful to you,” he said.

“We are asking that you once you have been selected, once you have been accepted to become a member of the family, your duty is to ensure that all those you come in contact with, all those impressionable minds you are about to speak to, you will determine where they will go. There is no greater job in today’s Jamaica that you can do, than to try to impress upon a young mind to use the straight and narrow path,” Mr. Spencer added.

Denise Johnson-Anderson, who is a Marketing Officer at Hi-Pro Farm Supplies, said her motivation for applying for the mentorship programme stems from her desire to help youth in need of some direction and care.

“I feel that I have the capacity for caring and I can actually make a contribution and be a good influence, despite being a perfect stranger,” she told JIS News.

Mrs. Johnson-Anderson said she has been encouraging work colleagues to participate in the initiative, which she hailed as an important part of national development.

“Instead of watching television or going on social media, I can give that four hours per month to a child who needs the attention and know there is someone who actually cares about him or her. I think ‘We Transform’ is very much about nation building, because these kids are going to be part of the future of this nation,” she said.

“Through mentorship, you are instilling positive values and attitudes in these mentees that can put them in a position to feel better about themselves and to make a valuable contribution to this country,” Mrs. Johnson-Anderson added.

The training session aimed to sensitise applicants of their roles as Mentors and to better prepare them for working with children in the care and supervision of the DCS.Training and certification of mentors is facilitated by the HEART Trust/NTA.

Since its launch in 2017, some 143 persons have applied to the mentorship programme. Of that number, 63 persons, including 17 members of staff from the Ministry and 14 from the DCS were trained in two previous sessions conducted in December 2018 and March 2019.