JIS News

The National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) on Thursday (July 14) handed over some $2.8 million in subventions to 46 youth clubs under its Operation Phoenix programme.
Director of the NCYD, Ohene Blake, in his remarks at the handing over ceremony held at the Institute of Jamaica downtown Kingston, said the occasion was a historic one, as for the first time, the agency was able to provide financial support to youth groups. Each club received $25,000. He said that the issuing of the grants was a policy move, which further underlined the government’s commitment to the sustenance of youth clubs for the development of young people. He encouraged the beneficiary clubs to utilize the funds well to make an impact at the community level.
Mr. Blake, in highlighting the successes of the NCYD, said that already, every aspect of the Operation Phoenix project has been implemented within two years and ahead of schedule.
He informed that the process to implement Youth Information Centres was advanced, with two facilities already established in St. Catherine and St. Mary, while contracts totalling $12 million have been signed to establish two others in St. James and Portland. He said further, that the NCYD was actively seeking a location in the parish of St. Thomas to establish a centre this financial year.
Mr. Blake said that over the next five years it was intended that a Youth Information Centre would be located in each parish.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd, urged the youth clubs to advocate for the issues underlined in the National Youth Policy in order to meet the identified goals.
“We want every young person to ensure that they consider education and training a significant part of their development process,” Dr. Rhodd said, noting that education and training were focal points of the policy.
He further informed, that the Ministry would soon be engaged in dialogue with Cabinet to determine ways of financing the programmes identified in the policy over the next five years. He noted that plans were afoot to engage over 20,000 young persons in an apprenticeship programme geared at offering training to individuals, who had left the formal education system before completing their education.
The NCYD was established in September 2000 as the youth division of the then Ministry of Local Government, Youth and Community Development and was transferred to the Ministry of Education in May of 2001.
It is the agency responsible for bringing together programmes, services and activities geared towards youth development as well as recommending and designing programmes to enhance and propel youth development in the country. Operation Phoenix, one of the projects of the NCYD, is designed to support the formation and development of youth organizations.
As part of its constant efforts to provide better prospects for future generations and effectively tackle problems facing the nation’s youth, the Jamaican government updated its 1994 youth policy.
The revamped policy addresses issues such as employment and entrepreneurship; youth health, education, training, care and protection; participation and empowerment; and explores ways to provide young Jamaicans with opportunities to develop their full mental, social, spiritual and physical potential through the provision of training programmes.
The accompanying National Strategic Plan specifies the strategies for the implementation of the policy and focuses on the priority areas for youth development, the cost of the activities and funding sources.