JIS News

Residents of some 15 inner city areas in Kingston and St. Andrew, who are benefiting from interventions under the Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), are lauding the programme for bringing about positive change in their communities. CSJP, which is an initiative of the Ministry of National Security, has been delivering a range of violence prevention services in the communities. These include education and mentoring programmes, conflict resolution training, and life skills and parenting education.
“I am empowered because of CSJP. They came into the community at Drewsland and turned things around,” said resident Cedeta Bell, at the CSJP’s third annual planning retreat held recently at the Starfish Hotel in Trelawny.
“We have young people in our community who could not read and because of CSJP, they can read today,” she said.
She thanked CSJP for intervening and helping to change the lives of the residents in Drewsland, thus allowing persons to unite in a positive way and work towards the growth and development of the community.
“I can say that I have benefited under the CSJP. My first course was Early Childhood and it helped me to nurture the young children. My second course was the Mediator course and after that I did the Facilitator course and from that I learnt how to set up workshops and sensitization meetings,” Ms. Bell boasted, adding that she did not limit herself, but continued to participate in other courses as they became available.
Admarie Phipps, another resident of Drewsland and President of the Psalms Avenue Parenting Group, told JIS News that “there used to be an ongoing war between the residents of Lyrics Corner in Psalms Avenue and Penwood Road but because of the CSJP, persons have come together in peace”.
Community Action Coordinator for the CSJP, Orville Simmonds, told JIS News that the educational component was the strongest of all the social services that the CSJP delivered, as focus was placed on students at both the primary and secondary levels.
“In some communities, we have been quite effective in others not so effective, but we have noticed that over the past year or so, a significant number of young men who previously frowned upon CSJP, are now coming into the programme because they have seen that we have been consistent in regards to our presence in the communities,” Mr. Simmonds said.
The programme, which started in 2001, is slated to end in August 2008 and Mr. Simmonds has urged those communities that have benefited to continue on the positive path to future development.
CSJP communities in Kingston and St. Andrew are: Waterhouse, Drewsland, Tower Hill, Trench Town, Denham Town, Hannah Town, Fletcher’s Land, Parade Gardens, Allman Town, Mountain View, Rockfort, Kencot, Ambrook Lane/Cassia Park, Grants Pen and August Town.