JIS News

A sum of $14 million has been allotted to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for the Social and Economic Support Programme and general government services.
This is contained in the 2004/05 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The Possibility (Street Children) Programme, which falls under the Social and Economic Support Programme is to get the lion’s share of $7.7 million. The project is a multi-agency effort and is aimed at providing the necessary resources and support for street children and youth to better improve their life chances.
The project is designed to coordinate the activities of all the agencies including non governmental organisations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBO), government, private sector, among others, involved in the care of this target group.
The project is an initiative of the Office of the Prime Minister, through the Programme Coordinating and Monitoring Unit. The objectives of the project are to develop a coordinated and proactive approach to the social problem of street children and to remove children and youth who wipe windscreens at intersections, and have them enrolled in a project of skills training and academic learning.
Other objectives of the programme are to stem the flow of children going to the streets and to assist with the reintegration of children and youth with their families and or schools, where possible, and to encourage the participation of stakeholders at all levels and stages.
The project covers three components, they are Care Centre, Skills and Employment Centre and the Resocialization Centre.
As at December 2003, the programme was able to register170 participants, 34 of which are currently active in the programme; continue with its on-going contact with 27 families to provide support to parents and legal guardians of children registered in the project and assisted 24 boys to return to high school at the beginning of the last school year.
Other achievements include the participation of 33 young men in leather craft, leather care and cleaning and repair activities; while under the apprenticeship and placement programme, nine boys were receiving training as apprentices and nine were placed in various jobs.
Meanwhile, 20 other young men participated in a three-week training project held in St. Mary. The other $3.5 million has been allotted to the corporate office of the Prime Minister and $2.7 million to the improvement of official, heritage properties and executive offices.

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