JIS News

Several communities in Portland are poised to benefit from training and social development programmes, aimed at improving their socio-economic conditions.
One such area, Janga Gully in Port Antonio, will see the HEART Trust/NTA providing certification for persons who are already equipped with a number of skills, but who are not certified. The Trust will also be offering training to other individuals who are so desirous.
This was disclosed by Community Development Officer for the Social Development Commission (SDC) in Portland, Nadine Simpson-McLean, at a stakeholders consultation sponsored by the Social Development Commission at the Old Port Antonio Marina in Portland on Thursday, February 26.
In addition, a special programme will be implemented in the area by the SDC, through which literacy training will be provided for at least 60 young men. Consideration is also being given to the establishment of a multi-purpose processing plant in the area to further exploit its economic potential, she disclosed.
Informing that the literacy programme will be linked to a healthy lifestyle project to be introduced to the community, Mrs. Simpson-McLean noted that a revolving loan programme will also be established in the community to assist small business persons.
Meanwhile, a social development plan relevant to the Titchfield Hill area is being formulated for implementation, which will involve close collaboration with the police.
Also addressing the function was SDC Development Officer for the Hope Bay area, Ivor Minott, who outlined a development plan for the Hope Bay area which is similar to that for the Janga Gully community.
The initiative includes the establishment of a database for illiteracy and learning disability; the implementation of a lifelong learning programme; the introduction of a micro enterprise revolving fund for private entrepreneurship; the operation of an apprentice programme database with existing skills in the community; and a physical transformation programme to beautify the community.
A major focus of the consultation was community security and is part of a national initiative currently being pursued by the SDC and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, in which specially selected communities are targeted for the promotion of safety and security.
Forty-nine communities island-wide are involved in the programme. Those selected in Portland are Titchfield Hill and Janga Gully in Port Antonio, and Hope Bay in Western Portland.
The objective of the programme is to create safer and more secure communities to facilitate social and economic development.
The consultation was attended by persons representing various organizations, and aimed to: sensitize key stakeholders in community safety and security; identify and share projects and services of various agencies; identify ways to reduce overlaps of the objectives of agencies serving the parish; share community safety and security work plans.

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