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JIS News

Residents of Mount Pleasant and adjoining communities, in Portland, were able to access the many services offered by Government agencies, at a Youth Empowerment Fair, held recently at the Mount Pleasant Health Centre.

Investigator at the Portland Health Department, Dorrett Norrine (right), conducts blood sugar tests on Iris Samuels, a resident of Mount Pleasant, at a recent Youth Empowerment Fair, held at the Mount Pleasant Health Centre.

The event, which was hosted jointly by the Behaviour Change Communications Team of the Portland Health Department and the Mount Pleasant Parenting Committee, saw over 70 residents benefiting from the services offered.
Among the services offered were: HIV testing, counselling, blood sugar and blood pressure checks. Persons were also able to source relevant information from agencies, such as HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Fire Brigade, Victim Support Unit, Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and the Inland Revenue Department.
Co-ordinator of the event and Community Peer Health Educator at the Portland Health Department, Laurel Morris, told JIS News that the fair was organised to facilitate positive behaviour change among young people, as well as to empower them to become independent and responsible citizens. It was also held to assist them to make wise career choices.
She said that persons were able to register for training courses with the HEART Trust/NTA, while others obtained information on the entry requirements necessary to enter the JCF and the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
Additionally, persons applied for their Tax Registration Number (TRN) with assistance from representatives of the Inland Revenue Department.
Officers from the RGD also assisted over 50 parents to apply for birth certificates for their children sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in the coming year, according to Miss Morris.
“I think the community members have benefitted a lot from today’s event, and my team and I are proud to be a part of it,” she said. She urged young persons to make full use of the many opportunities that are available through community programmes, which would enable them to play their role in national development.
A resident of Mount Pleasant, Kersha Burke, in an interview with JIS News, said she was thankful for the many services offered at the fair.
“I feel really good about the programme, because it has helped the young people of Mount Pleasant to know more about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and in knowing that, we can educate other young people,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Behaviour Change Communications Team will shortly be conducting Parenting Workshops and Peer Link Training Sessions for young people in Halls Avenue, Port Antonio.