JIS News

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman, has said that success would not be achieved overnight with the Possibility Programme, and called on stakeholders to exercise patience with the project.
“We all have high expectations for this programme, but we must not expect the associated problems to disappear overnight and therefore we must plead for patience, understanding and hard work,” Minister Whiteman said.
He was addressing a dinner and graduation ceremony for students of the Possibility Programme, at the Knutsford Court Hotel on December 9.
The programme is aimed at addressing the needs of at risk young persons by providing them with a programme of rehabilitation, skills training and job placement.
There are three components of the programme – a care centre, a skills/employment centre, and a behaviour modification centre. It currently caters to young persons from Kingston and St Catherine.
Pleading for the patience of parents, students, teachers and donors, Minister Whiteman said the “development of these young men and the changes we seek may be slower than our expectations, but with perseverance and patience, we will succeed”.
The Minister congratulated the graduates for completing the programme and not allowing themselves to be discouraged by others who dropped out of the programme. “I urge you to resist temptations to return to former ways. Let no one belittle your achievement, and continue to keep your heads high,” he told them.
Chairman of the Programme, Dr. Jaslin Salmon thanked the sponsors and told the gathering that the “future is bright” for the participants. The top graduate was 17 year-old Norbert Walford, who copped three awards. Eight participants graduated this year.
The programme was conceptualised by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson two years ago. Key supporters include the Government, the Peace Corps and HEART/Trust NTA, which provide a stipend to the participants in the programme. The government has allocated $9.6 million to the programme this year.
Entertainment was provided by rising teenage cello star and a volunteer in the Possibility Programme, Afeke Kambui, as well as the Kingston Drummers.

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