JIS News

Activities for Youth Month (November), will kick-off with a church service at the Oracabessa New Testament Church in St. Mary, on Sunday, November 2.
This will be followed by the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange’s address to the nation on November 5. From that day until November 7, a national youth run, dubbed the Southern Youth Run, involving the parishes of Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and Manchester, will take place.
Director of Youth Policy and Programme Development at the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), Roberta Ellis, who spoke at a post-Cabinet press briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister, on October 29, said the event is “a run against crime and violence.”
“We are anticipating that we will have over 1,500 young persons participating in this event, and they will be coming from the youth clubs and youth-based groups from across the parishes,” Mrs. Ellis said.This year’s Youth Month activities, being celebrated under the theme: ‘I Can, We Can, Youth Can Achieve Greatness’, are being co-ordinated by the NCYD, the youth division of the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports.
Mrs. Ellis said the NCYD, established in 2001, is mandated to provide leadership for positive youth development, through partnerships with stakeholders in research, policy development, advocacy, information dissemination, and monitoring.
“At the NCYD, we want to ensure that the excellence, dynamism and the resilience of our Jamaican young persons, outshine the gravity of the challenges that we experience in our society, and therefore, November is the month we will celebrate the achievements of our young persons, while at the same time, encouraging them to participate in the activities,” she pointed out.
Outlining other activities for Youth Month, Mrs. Ellis said that a National Youth Parliament would be held on November 10. “It is a non-partisan gathering of Jamaica’s youth, to express their views, debate issues, and pose solutions to the problems of our young people,” the Director informed.
The activities continue with International Students Day, which will be celebrated on November 17, under the theme: ‘Youth Empowered for Change’, and will be held at the Northern Caribbean University in Manchester.
On November 19, a youth entrepreneurship exposition will take place in the Corporate Area. This, the Director said, would seek to expose the products and services of Jamaica’s young entrepreneurs, to not only promote entrepreneurship among the youth, but highlight the successes and share best practices. “We are hoping that our young persons are able to network at that expo, getting some amount of guidance as it relates to entrepreneurship and development,” she said.
“November 22 is our marching band workshop expo, to be held at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St. James. The workshop will provide capacity building for marching bands across the island,” Mrs. Ellis informed.
The Director noted that over 2,500 young persons are expected to participate in the National Youth Organisation Sports Day, to be held at GC Foster College in St. Catherine, on November 29. “They are being mobilised from the different youth clubs and youth organisations,” she said, adding that a special effort is being made this year to ensure that young persons from the various Places of Safety are also involved in the activities.
On November 30, the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, will be held at Emancipation Park in Kingston. “Of course, this is the gala event for the month, and it highlights and recognises the work and achievements of our nation’s most outstanding young persons in a variety of areas – entrepreneurship, leadership, arts and culture, among others,” Mrs. Ellis noted.
Youth Information Specialist at NCYD, Dania Beckford, said the closing date for nomination entries for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards, will be on November 4. She noted that the initial closing date for the entries was October 21, but “with the overwhelming response that we have received, we realised that we had a little more time, so we could take a few more.” Persons can call the NCYD at 968-6293, or visit the office at 16A Half-Way Tree Road, to get nomination forms. It is also available on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) website, at www.jis.gov.jm or on Facebook.
Events will culminate with International Volunteers Day, which will be celebrated on December 5. Mrs. Ellis said the NCYD would be giving assistance to the youth and community club in Mines, St. Ann, “in establishing a water supply system for the community.”
In the meantime, Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange, said that during Youth Month, several youth clubs would be receiving their subventions. “Youth clubs receive a subvention of $25,000 to assist them in capacity building and operating the youth clubs in a very efficient way, to serve their communities,” Miss Grange said.