Residents of four communities in East Central, St. James have benefitted from training in culinary arts and home management, which will help them prepare nutritious meals for their families and also gain employment or start a business.
A total of 25 persons from Windsor Lodge, Somerton, Dumfries and Industry, participated in the 35-hour training course, which was held at the Windsor Lodge Community Centre from February 8 to 17.
The training was conducted by Food and Nutrition Consultant and Community Development Specialist, Dr. Heather Little-White, under the ‘Alternative skills for developing communities programme.’
The initiative, which receives support from the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of Members of Parliament, supports the National Early Childhood Education Trust, which aims to improve the quality of meals provided for children at the early childhood level.
Training is focused primarily on the preparation of nutritious and economical meals for young children as well as easy-to-prepare breakfast ideas, protein foods, starchy accompaniments, snacks and the preparation of vegetables and beverages.
Dr. Heather Little-White taught the participants in East Central St. James how to prepare a variety of Jamaican, Italian, French and Chinese cuisines and they were also instructed in etiquette, social settings and basic entrepreneurial skills.
The residents will be officially certified at a graduation ceremony set to take place in April.
Addressing the participants at the training site in Windsor Lodge recently, Tourism Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, Edmund Bartlett said that efforts were being made to extend the training programme to other communities, so that more persons would benefit.
He informed that the Ministry had programmes in place, through which they could benefit from funding to small businesses.
“We have something called the Economic Enablement Fund and in a few days, I am going to be announcing another fund from the Ministry of Tourism. These funds are going to be used to provide assistance for those of you, who want to set up your own businesses. This must be regarded for you as a stepping stone towards your own future and greater economic enablement,” Minister Bartlett stated.
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay and Councilor for the area, Cecil Davis, in commending the organisers, said that the residents “were able to learn something on which they can expand and make their communities better."
CONTACT: GLENIS ROSE
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE