JIS News

Young people in St. Ann will benefit from free internet access, counselling, career development and empowerment services, at the first Youth Information Centre (YIC) to be established in the parish.
The facility will operate out of a section of the Marcus Garvey Skills Training Centre in St. Ann’s Bay, for which the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) and the St. Ann Parish Council yesterday (July 8) signed a seven-year lease agreement.
The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will be providing $8 million to refurbish the building, including providing wheelchair access, computers and accessories, and required furniture.
NCYD’s Director for Youth Policy and Programme Development, Roberta Ellis, speaking at the signing ceremony held at the St. Ann Parish Council’s Chamber, informed that work on the centre should be completed within the next four months for an official opening by November.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, said he was pleased with the collaborative efforts of the key players involved in the project.
“This partnership, I hope, will lead not only to the creation of the Marcus Garvey site, but three additional ones, because it is our intention to ensure that every major town in the parish is served by a Youth Information Centre,” he said.
Addison Park in Brown’s Town is being looked at as a possible site for the second YIC in the parish.
Noting the importance of the YICs, Senator Newby said they “catered to the needs of young people in accessing the internet, exposing them to best practices in the world and enabling them to take advantage of opportunities.”
“We believe it to be of high importance that we use whatever resources we can garner to get as many of these centres up and running,” he said, while informing that “this year we will be embarking on a programme of satellite Youth Information Centres, which are going to be smaller than these conventional sites and (are intended) to reach the hinterland regions.”
YICs are focal points for the work for youth-focused organisations and serve as clearing houses for information required for research, planning or implementing programmes targeting persons in the 15 to 24 age group.
The services offered include free access to the Internet; counselling and referral services; empowerment sessions; career development; information on scholarships, youth organisations, entrepreneurship programmes, educational facilities, and training opportunities.
The establishment of the Marcus Garvey YIC will bring to six, the number of such facilities across the island.

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