JIS News

Two more Youth Information Centres (YIC) are to come on stream, with the signing of a $61,525,377 (US$695,202) contract today (Sept. 29) for the construction of facilities in the parishes of Manchester and Westmoreland.
The signatories include the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA), which will provide the funding, and FCP Construction & Engineering Company Limited.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the offices of Advantage General Insurance in Kingston, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, said that the centres are important and effective tools in youth development, enabling young people to channel their energies into creative and production areas.
“The Youth Information Centres will be an alternative to young women getting together and not being productive and young men sitting on the corners and then end up getting into trouble,” she stated.
She expressed gratitude to KOICA for providing the funding necessary and also to the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) for the role it continues to play in the development of youth programmes across the island.
Director, Youth Policy and Programme Development at the NCYD, Roberta Ellis, in her remarks, stated that the YICs offer young people “the best services and information they need for self esteem and personal development, which is indeed critical for their empowerment.”
She urged the users of the centres to protect the space, once completed, adding that the communities, on a whole, will benefit from the services offered.
The single storey buildings, which are slated to be completed within the next 12 months, are each estimated to serve some 1,500 persons per year.
Features include: cyber centres with 14 computers, resource rooms, multipurpose rooms to accommodate 25 persons, storage facilities, among other elements. They will each be staffed by three officers.
YICs, which have been established across the island, aim to encourage youth participation in sound social activities and to improve the human resources capacity of young people in the labour market.
They provide information on scholarships, education and training opportunities, and entrepreneurial programmes, among other things.

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