JIS News

A total of 50 young people from communities in Portland benefitted from a three-day Youth Empowerment Camp held recently at the Port Antonio Primary School.
The camp, coordinated by the Portland Office of the Child Development Agency (CDA), and the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF), Community, Safety and Security Branch, was aimed at improving social behaviour among the youngsters and to motivate them to focus on their personal development.
Resource persons came from the CDA, the JCF and the Portland Health Department. The youngsters, ages 13 to 17 years, were drawn from Hope Bay, Port Antonio, Prospect and Boundbrook. Among the topics discussed were: the rights of the child, conflict resolution, personal health and social graces.
In an interview with JIS News, Sub-Officer in Charge of the Community, Safety and Security Branch, Corporal Julio Francis, said his department was pleased to be part of the undertaking.
He expressed confidence that the training received would “change the behaviour of the young people, and empower them to become role models and responsible citizens in their communities.”
CDA Children’s Officer, Carlette Wallace, said that the intervention would help to “build the self-esteem of the participants, re-direct their focus and serve as a guide to more socially acceptable behaviour.”
She informed that the camp would be an annual event, with regular workshops held as the need arises.
Travis Wilson, a student of Titchfield High School, said that “camps such as these are important, as I have learnt a lot, including having respect for myself and others.”
Another participant from Hope Bay, Trissina Gaynor, said she appreciated the interest shown by the CDA and the JCF in the development of the youth.
“It has empowered myself and others to be better persons,” she said.

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