JIS News

Chairman of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Senator Norman Grant, has recommended that the more than 5,000 children currently under the care of the State, be afforded automatic membership to the 4-H Clubs, so that they may benefit from the programmes and projects offered by the organization.
Senator Grant made this proposal while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), between the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the Child Development Agency (CDA), at the Ministry of Health, recently.
“I would like to see as a move under this MOU.the 5,000 children who are under the auspices of the CDA.be given immediate status as 4-H clubbites and therefore, benefit from the programmes that are promoted by the Movement,” he stressed.
The MOU serves to formalize the partnership which exists between the 4-H Clubs and the CDA, by providing the framework within which both organizations can further collaborate, especially as it relates to the expansion of programmes offered by the 4-H Clubs into more Children’s Homes.
Senator Grant said that the incorporation of wards of the State within the 4-H Clubs would fall within the context of the MOU, and it would ensure that children, upon leaving the care of the CDA, are equipped with skills which they could use to enhance their own development.
“The MOU will, among other things, encourage, promote, and support the programmes of both organizations as well as increase access to training for disenfranchised youth in order to provide them with skills,” he pointed out.
In addition, he said that the MOU has outlined that both entities commit themselves to, “promoting the welfare of children in the care of the State and safeguarding them from abuse through the provision of advocacy and education”.
In her comments, Executive Director of the CDA, Alison Anderson said that she was pleased to partner with the 4-H Clubs in ensuring that wards of the State, like other children, were afforded opportunities which would enhance their development.
“In terms of the benefits that can be reaped from inter-agency collaboration and partnerships, one of the things that we must always recognize is that this is really about ensuring the safety, security, growth and development of our children,” she emphasized. “It is very important that as the government agency responsible for children, we feel that when they leave our care they are independent, goal oriented and skilled and we believe that this MOU will strengthen our capacity to enable us to fulfil this mandate,” she added.
Celebrating its 66th anniversary, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs is one of the leading youth organizations in Jamaica with a membership of more than 67,000 clubbites. The organization can be found in a number of schools, community and church clubs and more recently, in Children’s Homes.
The Movement has a number of programmes and projects, including its flagship Agricultural and Home Economics Training Programmes; the 4-H Environmental Challenge and Entrepreneurial Training Programmes; the Leadership Training & Developmental Programme and the Tractor Operation & Maintenance Programme.