KINGSTON — The busy Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre was abuzz with activity on Wednesday, May 18 as commuters took advantage of the host of information and services available at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s National Workers’ Week exhibition.
An interactive information hub was set up inside the transport centre, featuring displays from more than 15 organisations involved in providing services to young people, in keeping with theme for Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2011: ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child’.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, who was on hand to the view the exhibits, told JIS News that she was very pleased with the interest in the displays. “Overall it has been a great success and the response from the public, from what I’ve seen, has been tremendous,” Miss Grange stated.
She said the exhibition was put together with the intention to provide “a source where information can be garnered on the various services offered to young people and even adults”.
Organisations involved in the exhibition included the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), the HEART Trust/NTA, the Ministry of Health, the National Transformation Programme (NTP), and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA).
The NTP booth was one of the most popular, with visitors encouraged to take an introspective look at his/her character and then write down one trait that they would want to pass on to a Jamaican youth.
The programme’s Director of Development, Fabian Brown explained that “what we have done is to engage persons to… identify, which one of the core values (love, unity, trust, responsibility, and dignity of work) they can use as an individual to make their own personal contribution to changing Jamaica."
He said that the message the organisation wished to get to all Jamaicans is that “there are various different ways that you can infuse the national core values in your daily lives,” noting that there was “remarkable response” to the effort.
Meanwhile, Field Officer for the NCDA, David Gordon, told JIS News that for Labour Day 2011, the organisation will focus on programmes for the youth particularly as it relates to educating them on the dangers of drug abuse.
“We try to educate them that drug use can lead to depression, which, if not dealt with properly can also lead to suicide, which is a very topical issue recently,” he stated.
“The agency therefore aims to let youngsters know that there is help and that if they have a drug problem they don’t have to hide it but there is someone they can talk to in confidence and we will find the appropriate response, intervention or organisation for the drug use,” he added.
Workers’ Week 2011 began on May 15 and culminates on May 23 with Labour Day observances.
Among activities for the remainder of the week is the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) panel discussion today (May 19), which will focus on entrepreneurship, the role it has played in the liberation of the Jamaican people, the need to promote it among young people, and its values, challenges and triumphs.
Fourteen national projects, one for each parish/municipality, have been identified for execution on Labour Day.
All Mayors, Parish Councils, Members of Parliament and various levels of leadership in the parishes will be involved in the projects.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter