MANDEVILLE — Some 125 parents and adolescents from the Cross Keys community in Manchester, recently benefitted from an empowerment training programme, carried out by the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) through its Community and Restorative Justice Centre (CRJC).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Cross Keys High School, Director of CRJC, Merylyn Campbell-Flinch, explained that the objectives of the training were to strengthen parenting skills, while helping the teens to develop a strong sense of self to reduce at-risk behaviour.
“The (parents) were taught adequate parenting strategies such as effective disciplinary measures and acceptable norms of punishment. The adolescent training focused on the holistic development of self and improvement in the areas of assertiveness, conflict management and social skills. The goal is to curtail at-risk behaviour of adolescent within, and beyond the parish of Manchester,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, parent Mauveth Samuels, said that coming out of the training, the Cross Keys Empowerment Project has been launched, which will provide assistance for other parents and mentorship for children in the community.
The group has received a $100,000 cash pledge from NCU, through its President, Dr. Herbert Thompson.
“Cross Keys is definitely not the same as a result of this empowerment. Our goal is to make an exception in this community by continuing the empowerment programme started by the NCU Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Centre,” Mrs. Samuels said.
Clerk of the Mandeville Resident Magistrate Court, Gavin Stewart, who was the guest speaker, said that with the training, parents must now employ creative disciplinary measures in dealing with their children.
Other sponsors for the empowerment training programme were the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Michael Peart, and other business entities and individuals in Manchester.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS REGIONAL OFFICE