‘Steps to Work’ Camp Aims to Reduce Poverty in Trelawny


A pilot “Steps to Work Programme” Summer Camp was officially launched by Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, on Monday (August 17).
About 100 children, from households in the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) in that area, are participating in the camp, being held on the grounds of the Albert Town High School, South Trelawny,.
The camp will take place over two weeks, with the participants being exposed to several workshops and receiving hands-on experience in several skill areas over the period.
The Steps to Work project, which started in 2008, currently has pilot programmes in six parishes co-ordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The aim of the project is to refer working age members of PATH eligible households into training, employment and entrepreneurship.
The participants are students who have just graduated from Grades Nine and Eleven at the Albert Town High School, Troy High School, Lowe River Primary and Junior High, Warsop All-Age and Wait-a Bit All Age schools. The camp will provide them with productive options during the summer holidays, and also assist in character building and the development of social, community and life skills.
In declaring the camp officially opened, Mr. Gallimore, encouraged the participants to set themselves clearly defined goals, and always be prepared to make use of opportunities to assist them in achieving their set goals.
He said that the camp is just another way that the Government, through his Ministry, is hoping to provide meaningful options.
“This administration clearly understands that the people of this country are our greatest assets. This administration is committed to helping you, our children from PATH households, you our children who face severe economic challenges. We want, through the Steps to Work Programme, to empower you, to be there beside you to help you to make the transition that you need to make,” he told participants.
He said that he is confident that, if given the necessary assistance, the participants can help to break the poverty cycle in their families.
Director of Social Security in the Ministry, Colette Risden, in her address at the launch of the Camp, described the Steps to Work programme as a natural progression in the implementation of a Holistic Social Policy, where Human Capital Development takes centre stage in breaking the cycle of poverty.
She expressed the hope that with the kind of intervention being offered, the participants will become productive partners in the development process of their families, communities and, by extension, the nation.

JIS Social