Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says allocations to the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) from the 2013/14 Budget have increased by over $30 million.
Making the announcement while addressing youth leaders at the Portland Youth Information Centre in Port Antonio on Friday (April 26), Ms. Hanna, who welcomed the increase, assured that, despite the prevailing financial constraints, efforts will be made to utilize the allocation effectively to ensure that the NCYD is able to undertake a significant number of youth initiatives this year.
“We’re making sure that even though we don’t have as much resources as we would like, we’re going to make things more efficient. We also want to [resume] activities in communities that have been languishing for a long time,” she stated.
The Minister further advised that the budgets for uniformed groups, the National Students’ Council and tertiary students’ unions have also increased by over 100 per cent.
Additionally, she said plans are in place to (enhance) activities under the National Youth Service (NYS), with the aim of getting more young people to volunteer in their communities.
“There was a time when the NYS, which celebrates 40 years this year, was a premier institution that all young people wanted to be a part of. We want to take the NYS back to its natural roots, to get young people in communities to volunteer at its offices, so that you can get (that) experience (incorporated) on your resumes,” she said.
Ms. Hanna further noted that the NYS, which has seen budgetary increases of over $300 million since 2010, is targeting over 11,500 young people for training and internship.
The meeting with parish youth leaders formed part of the itinerary for Ms. Hanna’s visit to Portland on Friday, which also saw her meeting with staff, students and wards at Port Antonio High School and Muirton Boys’ Home in Manchioneal, for discussions issues relating to education, and job opportunities, among other things.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JISReporter