Communities in the St. Andrew South Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) will benefit from the staging of a social services fair at the Haile Selassie High School on Saturday (April 9) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The event is part of a series being staged by the Ministry of National Security to bring the most sought-after Government services directly to the most vulnerable areas.
The fairs involve partnership with the Ministry of Education and Youth, Government agencies and departments, and non-government organisations (NGO).
Regional Case Management Coordinator in the Ministry, Kevin Williams, told JIS News that an entertaining and engaging session has been packaged for the Haile Selassie High School fair.
“It will be a fun-filled day with a lot of excitement for parents but especially for our children. We will have snow cone machines, face painting and entertainment. We are having Rise Life Management, the Ministry of Labour Social Security, which will take along the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH),” he said.
Also on hand will be teams from the Ministries of Education and Youth, and Health and Wellness, the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, HEART/NSTA Trust, Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), National Parenting Support Commission, Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Restorative Justice, and Victim Support Services.
Many of the social services will be offered at a discounted rate and persons will also benefit from various health checks.
“We are inviting everybody to come on out and enjoy the day and get the services. We know that these are critical services that people sometimes can’t afford or can’t get the time to access, so we are bringing the services to the community and to the parents,” Mr. Williams told JIS News.
He said that the Ministry is using the social services fairs as means of creating a better relationship with the security forces and the residents of vulnerable communities.
“We want to see an improved relationship and an improved perception of the police by the residents in these communities. It’s not all about hard policing…we want to bring social services and social change to these communities. We want to see a reduction in the levels of violence and crime and see improvement in behaviour,” he added.
Noting that schools have served as venues for the fairs, Mr. Williams said it is hoped that citizens will see educational institutions as hubs for community activities.
“One of our major objectives, really, is the improved access to social services by parents and students. We want also to strengthen the relationship between the school and the community. All the communities that we serve…not only do we want them to be seen as educational institutions, but also social institutions as well, where you can come and get services,” Mr. Williams said.