PMI interventions targeting poverty reduction
'LEFT BEHIND', the title of a recent World Bank report on chronic poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean, characterises a feeling among the poor that they are not given an opportunity to have a fair share of the economic pie.
This feeling, the report contends is further fuelled by a depressed state of mind which acts as a strong obstacle to upward mobility.
According to the report, the depressed state of mind and lowered aspirations of the chronic poor can be a strong obstacle to upward mobility.
Board member of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) Horace Levy, while agreeing with the findings of the report, said the poor in the inner-city in Jamaica has experienced brazen acts of violence, which has had a traumatic effect on them, affecting their general outlook on life and dampening their aspirations to escape a life of poverty.
In his view, poverty reduction in Jamaica has to be driven by a change in the mindset of the poor rather than through trickle down economics or by throwing money at the inner-city.
It is this philosophy which guides the work of the PMI.
Levy explained that the PMI has been working towards poverty reduction through several projects that it implements.
“We have a project in Waterhouse where we have a cultural group that has been putting a movie together, we also have another group that has been doing work with computers and phone repairs and have been able to earn an income," Levy said.
He also indicated that the PMI has been doing intensive counselling sessions to combat the depressed state of mind which is associated with poverty.
“Projects such as the ones we do, change the mindset of poverty and those involved become the agents of change,” he added.