Three community projects, valued at $1.2 million, were recently approved under the Community Research and Development Programme for St. Elizabeth, says Parish Manager for the Social Development Commission (SDC), Alric Miller.
Addressing the monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, in Black River, on July 8, Mr. Miller explained that the projects will each be allocated $400,000 and are to benefit up to seven communities across the parish.
The communities of Thornton, Aberdeen, Santa Cruz and Goshen will gain from the literacy interventions, while Braes River, Leeds, Goshen, Balaclava and Aberdeen will benefit from the parenting workshop intervention.
Thornton, Braes River, Santa Cruz and Balaclava will benefit from the domestic violence intervention.
“We want to really see an improvement in literacy amongst these parents, which will ultimately lead to an improvement in education outcomes for students. They (parents) will now have the necessary skills, providing support to their children via supervision or homework,” Mr. Miller noted.
“As it relates to the domestic violence intervention, we want to increase awareness around this crime and we want to see some reduction in the number of cases. If that is happening, we want to see people start reporting these things [and] see a reduction in domestic violence in these communities,” he added.
In the meantime, Mr. Miller said local economic initiatives (LEIs) and farmers managed to raise more than $600,000 in sales at the SDC Black River Community Market & Business Fair, held on June 17 in the parish.
He said the entity will continue to help LEIs and farmers as part of a broader approach for community development and economic sustainability.