JIS News

The National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), in its continued effort to create an environment for meeting the developmental needs of Jamaica’s youth, will be launching its ‘Big Sister’ Mentorship Programme tomorrow (January 31), at the Glistening Water Marina and Restaurant in Falmouth, Trelawny.
The programme will be co-ordinated by the NCYD’s Youth Empowerment Officer for the parish of Trelawny, Rhonda Walker, and will target girls at the Granville Child Care Facility, in the parish.
In an interview with JIS News, Miss Walker pointed out that the mentorship programme would include empowerment sessions, recreational visits to the home, and the use of the arts as a mechanism to help these institutionalised girls, who have been labelled ‘uncontrollable’, have suffered physical and sexual abuse and taken from unsafe homes to become functioning individuals in the society.
“By working with them (the girls), I realised that they needed some outside contact, people to visit them, sit and talk with them.just somebody to motivate and encourage them,” the Co-ordinator said.
This initiative, she pointed out, is aimed at “equipping the girls with life coping skills, providing positive role models and an avenue for the free expression of thoughts, emotions and ideas.”
Miss Walker informed that reputable persons, who are seen as role models in the surrounding communities, would be identified, undergo mentorship training, then be peered with girls from the institution.
Additionally, the programme will take a multi-sectoral approach by utilising the voluntary services of the Social Development Commission (SDC), Trelawny Youth Development Foundation, Trelawny Parish Aids Association and Child Development Agency (CDA).
The Co-ordinator pointed out that the initiative would last for one year, then evaluated, with the best practices identified and replicated in other institutions.
“Mentorship is something that cannot be exaggerated; it is needed now in Jamaica as we can see the direction some of our young people are heading, and mentorship is one possible way of getting them back on track,” Miss Walker said.

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