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Story Highlights

  • Over the years the Ministry of Youth and Culture has facilitated the construction of a number of Youth Information Centres (YICs) across the island beginning in 2003.
  • The first YIC was opened in Edgewater, Portmore.
  • Today, the Centre is celebrating its twelfth year anniversary by hosting a series of events throughout the months of July and August.

Over the years the Ministry of Youth and Culture has facilitated the construction of a number of Youth Information Centres (YICs) across the island beginning in 2003, when the first YIC was opened in Edgewater, Portmore. Today, the Centre is celebrating its twelfth year anniversary by hosting a series of events throughout the months of July and August, where young people will be empowered and encouraged to further develop their social and professional skills along with their talents.

The celebratory activities are designed to motivate young persons within Portmore and surrounding areas to use their skills and talents to inspire not just themselves but others. Through these activities, youth will be able to use the long summer period to contribute their time to something meaningful and beneficial.

For the past 12 years the Portmore YIC has served over 85,000 individuals, 95% of whom are youth. The services offered by this YIC are accessed not only by persons within Portmore but also by those living in surrounding parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and even St. Ann. These individuals receive help with CSEC subjects, tax collection and TRN application, talks on HIV/AIDS, computer lessons, resume writing and are able to participate in cultural and recreational activities.

“The Portmore YIC along with others across the island should be viewed as centres for information and youth engagement, providing a safe haven for youth of all backgrounds to utilize, get information and seek assistance, if required,” said the Honourable Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture.

Simone Green and Gihon Mitchell are the two Youth Empowerment Officers who are serving young people at the Portmore YIC. Miss Green spoke with a high level of enthusiasm when she outlined the work that is being done by the Centre.

“Majority of the youth who come to our Centre are predominantly males and as such we have developed our programmes and activities with this in mind,” she said.

She went on to encourage more males and females to visit the Centre and to participate in the scheduled activities throughout July and August. She also stated that the YIC has been placing emphasis on unattached youth, specifically those who are unemployed.

The events that form part of the celebration in Portmore include: a Youth Entrepreneurship Expo to be held on July 25, a Youth Church Service and Gospel Concert on August 14 and a Climate Change Expo and Talent Competition on August 29.

The Ministry encourages all youth in and around the Portmore area to participate in the YIC’s anniversary celebration as it is guaranteed to be a rewarding and empowering experience.

Minister Hanna expressed full support of the work that is being done by the Portmore YIC and encouraged all young people to arm themselves with the necessary tools and qualities for changing the world.

Youth Information Centres were constructed as a direct policy of the Jamaican government, aimed at empowering youth through the dissemination of information, the provision of other services and outreach activities at central and easily accessible locations islandwide.

According to the Minister, “the mission of the Ministry is to ensure that young people are prepared to take full advantage of a dynamic world that is constantly changing and to see themselves as global citizens who are connected and empowered.”