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  • State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is challenging tertiary-level students to use their talents to assist in finding solutions to social problems.
  • “As youngsters who have been given an opportunity to be educated at the tertiary level, don’t sit back, because they (criminals) will take over. Do not keep quiet, because they will get louder,” he noted.
  • “They don’t have the freedom that you have. We are trying our best to give them hope and to be reintegrated in our community without having to feel that they have to go back to the gangs,” he pointed out.

State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is challenging tertiary-level students to use their talents to assist in finding solutions to social problems.

Addressing a youth forum on Tuesday (January 23), at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in St. Andrew, he encouraged the young people in attendance to use their education to shape the society that they desire.

“As youngsters who have been given an opportunity to be educated at the tertiary level, don’t sit back, because they (criminals) will take over. Do not keep quiet, because they will get louder,” he noted.

Senator Charles said they could play a role by contributing to the Ministry’s ‘We Transform Jamaica’ initiative aimed at the rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders.

“They don’t have the freedom that you have. We are trying our best to give them hope and to be reintegrated in our community without having to feel that they have to go back to the gangs,” he pointed out.

He advised them to go to Facebook and sign up for the programme. “We are giving you a platform to play a role for change,” he said.

The youth forum, dubbed ‘Creating Awareness Through Revolutionary Entertainment (CARE)’ was organised by ProChangeJa, a non-profit organisation set up to help needy students in communities within the vicinity of the UWI.

It included presentations from the Ministry of Health and several organisations that are working in vulnerable communities.

Topics addressed included mental health, development through sport, domestic violence, paediatric cancer, autism awareness, corruption, youth and crime, schooling versus education, and teenage pregnancy.