JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has urged female wards at the Homestead Childcare Facility in Kingston, to take control of their lives from an early age in order to build a solid future.
“Please, don’t be careless with your early life, because it is the foundation on which you will build a sound and solid future,” Mr. Samuda pleaded with the wards at a poetry competition awards function at the facility on Wednesday (August 26).
He urged them to put their problems behind them, adopt positive values and to seize every opportunity to improve their education by taking their lessons seriously, studying hard and setting achievable goals.
“It is not where you start in life that matters, it is where you finish,” Mr. Samuda told the young women.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, (at podium) addressing a poetry competition awards function at the Homestead Childcare Facility in Kingston on Wednesday (August 26). Seated at the head table behind the Minister are from left: Children’s Officer in the Investigations Unit at the Child Development Agency (CDA), Kevin Bryan, and the CDA’s Director of Programmes, Winston Bowen.

Using his early life as an example, he said that he was given a second chance at a proper education. He explained that despite coming from humble beginnings, growing up in a rough community and having formed questionable friendships, he was given the opportunity to attain a solid education, which led to a successful career in politics. Mr. Samuda also promoted the importance of adopting a positive attitude.
“The thing that differentiates us is how we train our minds and our attitudes toward each other. Attitude is critical for self development. If you adopt good principles, good attitudes, and establish values that are important to making you a better person, it cannot be taken from you,” he said.
Participants in the poetry competition were required to write on the subject of success and achieving goals. During the proceedings, the first, second and third placed winners recited their poems for the audience.
There were also awards for being the most talented, most disciplined, most helpful, most improved and honest, as well as for academic excellence.
Formerly a place of safety for boys, the Homestead Childcare Facility has been catering to girls since 2005. According to social worker at the facility, Keisha Tomlinson, it deals with persons who are awaiting court dates.
“Persons who are in need of care and protection, and children who might have committed an offence, or are uncontrollable, stay here until the court decides what to do with them,” she explained.
“So, this is really a place of safety. They should be here for a short period of time, like two months, and then move to somewhere else; whether to a children’s home, where they can go to school outside the home, or back to their families,” she told JIS News.

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