- Young persons in the parish of Hanover now have a permanent location where they can obtain information and get involved in programmes staged by the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
- The Hanover Youth Information Centre and the National Youth Service Parish Office for Hanover are now officially opened at the Watson Taylor Park Complex, Lucea.
- The facilities form part of the Ministry’s commitment to the youth and children of not only Hanover, but Jamaica.
Young persons in the parish of Hanover now have a permanent location where they can obtain information and get involved in programmes staged by the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
The Hanover Youth Information Centre and the National Youth Service Parish Office for Hanover are now officially opened at the Watson Taylor Park Complex, Lucea, to provide access to information for thousands of youth from the parish and adjoining areas of Westmoreland and St. James.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Mrs. Sherrill O’Reggio Angus, who delivered the keynote address at a ceremony to mark the official opening of the facilities on June 19, said the facilities form part of the Ministry’s commitment to the youth and children of not only Hanover, but Jamaica.
“It is well known that the Ministry of Youth and Culture is committed to the development of children and youth in Jamaica. We are aggressive in our belief that all young people deserve opportunities and experiences that will contribute to their life choices, not only in Jamaica, but the world,” she added.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the establishment of the Youth Information Centre is the 11th such facility to be set up across Jamaica by the Ministry, with others now operating in the parishes of St. Catherine (Portmore and Spanish Town), St. Elizabeth, Manchester, St. Mary, St. Ann, St. James, Portland, Kingston and Clarendon.
Mrs. O’Reggio Angus said the centres are geared toward providing young people with access to a physical space which gives credible information and assistance to guide their personal and professional development.
“The vision (of the Ministry of Youth and Culture) is that the youth centres should be the first point of contact for young persons seeking information on any subject of interest or concern. We will also be placing greater emphasis on engaging youth at risk, unattached youth, out-of-school youth with mal-adaptable behaviours and delinquent youth registered within the school system,” the Permanent Secretary explained.
Mrs. O’Reggio Angus said the Hanover centre is well placed to carry out the mandate of the Ministry, by engaging young people and thereby providing the relevant support so that they can contribute productively to the parish.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Western Hanover and State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, encouraged the youth to take advantage of the opportunities and information that the centre provides.
He said the centre will play a key role in addressing the matter of “brain drain” that has affected the parish of Hanover over the years.
“We have always talked about brain drain in the parish…young people leaving for university, never to return to contribute. Young people will tell you that there isn’t that much opportunity in Hanover, so they have to go out and seek opportunity elsewhere. So what you are getting here in Hanover is one of the greatest investments that has ever been made in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank,” Mr. Hayles said.
The State Minister encouraged the youth of Hanover to make the best use of job experiences which they will get through the work of the National Youth Service (NYS) in the various programmes implemented by that agency.
“The greatest investment you will ever make in your life is yourself…let’s find a way in ensuring that whatever contribution you make in investing in yourself that you invest in your parish. For far too long we have taken things from this parish, never to give back. Let this centre represent everything that is good about youth, culture, information technology and knowledge,” he said.
The Hanover Youth Information Centre and the National Youth Service offices were built at a cost of just over $71 million, with funding from the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).