KINGSTON — Two new Youth Information Centres (YICs) are scheduled to be opened this year in Clarendon and St. Catherine, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The projects will be spearheaded by the National Centre for Youth Development, an agency of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Warren Newby, made the disclosure while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank session on Wednesday July 13, 2011 at the JIS in Kingston
“We tendered for St. Catherine and Clarendon. The contracts are now before the sector committee, being reviewed with a view to have them signed by September,” he said.
Senator Newby said that the Centre in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth is nearing completion. Plans to construct a centre in St. Thomas did not materialise, due to setbacks but Senator Newby said that he was still very hopeful that, before December, construction in St. Thomas will start.
A Youth Information Centre is considered the hub for youth development, where young people are able to access relevant information. It also provides a friendly environment where young people can relax, strategise, learn and expand on their own ideas.
To date, six YICs have been established in – Kingston, St. Mary, Portland, St. James, St. Ann and Portmore. Opening hours are weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Senator Newby urged young people to make use of the Centres, which are designed to ensure their development. He said there were many service organisations serving young people, and mentioned the National Youth Ambassador Programme and the National Youth Parliamentary Committee Watch set up to protect the interest of young people.
“There are hundreds of watchdog institutions; the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network has over a hundred registered entities across the island engaged in youth advocacy, so the vehicle exists in various forms. It is our young people now to apply themselves,” he said.
By E. HARTMAN RECKORD, JIS Information Officer