JIS News

Residents of six corporate area inner-city communities will benefit from a range of social intervention measures, as a result of continued collaboration between the Addiction Alert Organization/Rise Life Management Services (AAO/Rise), and the Ministry of National Security.
The Executive Director of AAO/Rise, Sonita Morin Abrahams, who made the announcement at the launch of the ‘Shine Kit’ at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on June 7, informed that a contract signed among the partners on June 2, would see a number of services being offered in Waterhouse, Drewsland, Tower Hill, Fletcher’s Land, Parade Gardens and Allman Town.
The services include remedial education for adolescents, adult literacy classes and Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) classes, life skills training, parenting workshops, home visits by social workers in order to engage caregivers, and to assist those with special needs. She noted that, “we’re also offering counselling for behavioural and drug-related problems and computer technology vocational training”.
She pointed out that, “it’s only by empowering our young people in a positive way and by involving caregivers and peers in their re-education and socialisation, that we can stop the dreadful trend of creating young criminals who value neither their own nor anyone else’s life.”
The ‘Shine Kit’ was developed in collaboration with Family Health International, through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It includes a life skills manual, an activity booklet, posters, and a DVD with four skits, which youth trainers are expected to deliver to adolescents in the targeted communities.
Funding for the production of the DVD was received from the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), which is an agency of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The kits are available at a nominal fee of $4,000, but AAO/Rise would be distributing 30 to agencies and groups, which are unable to purchase them.
Mrs. Abrahams noted that the material was deliberately not copyrighted, as the organisation believed in collaborating and sharing knowledge and skills for the greater good of the Jamaican people.
Member of Parliament for West Central St. Andrew, and Opposition spokesperson for Education, Andrew Holness, in his remarks at the function, noted that the society needed an institutional overhaul, starting with the family. He pointed out, that the deterioration of the family was often accompanied by a decline in morality.
He also called for the institution of compulsory national youth service, to reach the unattached youth, who often end up on the ‘corner,’ and sometimes descended into criminal activity.
This year marks the third year of collaboration between AAO/Rise and the Ministry of National Security, to develop and implement programmes for young persons at risk, particularly in inner city communities, to help them cope with drug abuse, peer pressure, violence, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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