Residents of August Town, St. Andrew are benefiting from a parenting workshop, through which they will learn skills to help steer their children away from criminal activity.
The five-week workshop, dubbed: ‘Parents Against Violence’, is organised by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) in collaboration with the Greater August Town Parenting Association (GATPA) and the University Township Project.
At the launch held yesterday (March 19) at the Mona School of Business on the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus, Project Coordinator, Hishkara Scotland, explained that over the five weeks, parents will be equipped with the requisite skills to train their children, and others in the community, to conform to societal norms and values in an effort to rid the community of crime.
Among the topics to be covered are: domestic violence, anger management, substance abuse, conflict and dispute resolution, as well as sexual abuse.
Ms. Scotland, who is also President of the Hermitage Parenting Association, informed that the programme was developed out of concerns raised by the residents and by the different institutions that have been working in the communities.
Community Action Officer from the CSJP, Angella Harris, said the launch of the project is a proud moment for the organisation and community members, who have collectively taken a stance against crime and violence in the area.
She said the CSJP and its stakeholders are committed to implementing social intervention programmes in its thrust to make Jamaica crime-free. “If we are to reduce crime, one of the things that we have to target is the homes,” she said, noting that parents are the primary agents of socialisation.
Ms. Harris noted that the CSJP, the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the University Township Project have been strengthening the community groups in August Town through training. This level of intervention, she said, is integral to the development of the area.
“This will not only allow them to manage their organisations in a manner to increase visibility and to garner membership, but to give them the capacity so that they will be able to recruit and conduct interventions that will attract the young men or women, who are at risk,” she stated.
Funded through a loan from the International Development Bank (IDB) and a grant from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the CSJP is a social intervention programme of the Ministry of National Security that is active in 39 communities across eight parishes in Jamaica.
By Toni-Ann Russell, JIS PRO