JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of National Security has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Fight for Peace, which uses sport to engage at-risk youth in communities impacted by violence.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s offices at the NCB Towers on Oxford Road, said he welcomes the opportunity to formalise the partnership with Fight for Peace, which has already been working closely with some Ministry initiatives.
  • Mr. Montague said he is particularly pleased that the programme is geared towards youth and involves the use of sports, as these are critical areas in reducing crime and creating safer communities.

The Ministry of National Security has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Fight for Peace, which uses sport to engage at-risk youth in communities impacted by violence.

The MOU will serve to establish a framework for the effective operation and governance of the various collaborative projects between the Ministry and its agencies and Fight for Peace. It involves formalising points of contact as well as consultative and review arrangements.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s offices at the NCB Towers on Oxford Road, said he welcomes the opportunity to formalise the partnership with Fight for Peace, which has already been working closely with some Ministry initiatives.

These include its Crime Prevention and Community Safety division, the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) and the Community Safety and Security branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

“Crime and lawlessness are global issues that confront every country and we need to be able to share ideas and best practices with each other in order to overcome this common enemy. This collaboration is an excellent example of this approach,” he said.

The Minister noted that the Fight for Peace programme practically addresses three of the five pillars of the Ministry’s National Security Strategy, which are crime-prevention through social development, reducing reoffending and effective policing processes.

Mr. Montague said he is particularly pleased that the programme is geared towards youth and involves the use of sports, as these are critical areas in reducing crime and creating safer communities.

Head of Fight for Peace Jamaica, Kellie Magnus, said along with sports, specifically boxing and martial arts, as the key component, the programme includes focus on education, employability, youth leadership and supporting services such as counselling and mentoring.

It is currently operational in six communities – Fletcher’s Land, Trench Town, Parade Gardens, Hanna Town, Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens.

Ms. Magnus said the organisation has chosen to partner with NGOs and is already active in these communities, in an effort to deliver a collective set of programmes for the youth.

“So, we are using this approach to both bring calm to troubled communities, and to help people in those communities who may not be involved in crime and violence, but are affected by it to achieve more positive outcomes,” she said.

Fight for Peace is fully funded in Jamaica for the next three years by IKEA Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development grant, valued at $20 million, which will support work with the CSJP in sports development across the six communities.

“We are very committed to making sure that we align our efforts here with the Ministry’s policies and protocols,” Ms. Magnus said.

Fight for Peace has already started work in the area of violence interruption with the Peace Management Initiative and supports the Ministry’s efforts to improve the rehabilitation and reintegration of young persons who have had conflict with the law.

The NGO was started in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15 years ago and has been operating in Jamaica since 2014.