Students from Corporate Area schools, who are beneficiaries under the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), on March 8 benefitted from an interactive session held at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre.
The event, which formed part of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of PATH, was aimed at educating students about the importance of complying with the requirements under the programme, including attending school regularly.
It also sought to address some of the stigma associated with the programme through live entertainment, panel discussion, and a question and answer session.
“The idea is to meet the students where they are, and to put the message across in a fun and educational way, that they will understand,” said Acting Director for Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), Denzil Thorpe.
He told JIS News that a key objective was to make the students feel proud to be part of such a programme, which has touched the lives of so many Jamaicans island-wide, while highlighting the achievements over the years.
“Ten years is an important milestone in any programme and considering the fact that it covers 400,000 persons, shows the important role it plays in society,” he stated.
He said the aim of PATH is to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and that the Ministry will continue to look at ways to improve the benefits available.
Singer, Romaine Virgo, who engaged the students with his performance, told JIS News that as a past beneficiary of PATH, the programme played an integral role in his life throughout school.
He said PATH is an important element in the development of the country’s most vulnerable, and he was happy to be part of the day’s activity.
Singer, Chris Martin, who was a guest panelist, said he was pleased about the positive impact of the programme on the society. “The introduction of the programme is important to the Jamaican society. The fact that it is helping out persons, who are in dire need, speaks volumes,” he said.
PATH is a conditional cash transfer programme, which has been providing assistance to the most vulnerable in society, since its inception in 2002.
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS PRO