JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has stated that young people need and deserve transformational services that enable them to form a different view of themselves and the communities in which they live.
“They must be made to realise that they have the potential to take control of their lives and be responsible for the choices they make,” the Minister said.
“I am firmly of the view that, armed with its rich history, the Scouts Movement is best suited to tap into the potential of youths who are at risk. I am convinced that the Movement is able to offer incredible opportunities to these at-risk youth,” Senator Nelson told the Scouts Association of Jamaica’s annual public meeting, Thursday (February25) at Wolmers Boys’ School, North Heroes’ Circle in Kingston.
The Security Minister also noted that his Ministry, and other Government agencies, were crafting strategies to combat the growing problem of youths being members of gangs proliferating around the country.
“It is imperative that more intensive services are provided to save at risk youths. The Scout Movement has the integrity to assist in this all-important endeavour,” Senator Nelson said.
He added that the treatment of young people may warrant specialised treatment interventions, but should include programmes and services which assist them in developing bonds to conventional values, activities and persons, as well as help them to develop skills required to function in socially constructive ways in conventional society and provide access to meaningful opportunities.
“I am of the view that if programmes can be designed to acquaint our young people with these positive values, we will be well on our way to saving many of our at risk youths,” he said.
“For most young people testing limits is part of growing up, of taking risks, of asserting their independence. It may also be an indication of boredom and the absence of anything useful or meaningful to do. It may be a reflection of that awkward stage of life, where one feels grown up but not able to participate fully in the world of adults,” Senator Nelson said.
He added that access to social services can help some young people and their families deal with problems which may underlie the offending behaviour.
“Given what we know about the correlation between poverty, mental health and opportunities, the economic security of young people and their families should also be a priority in any initiative we pursue to assist them,” he stated.
Chief Commissioner, Scouts Association of Jamaica, the Rev. Barrington Soares, noted that the Scouts Movement was an activity through which adults and young people learn the fundamentals of citizenship and the essentials of society.
“These fundamentals include duty, dedication, trust, loyalty, perseverance and charity. The lessons learnt in Scouting last a lifetime, and there is no other organisation that can boldly face the daunting challenges of the time with greater confidence,” Rev. Soares said.
For over the past 100 years, only two years after the international Scout Movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, it has been playing an important role in shaping and changing the lives of young males in Jamaica.

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