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Youth for progress transforming lives

Published:Thursday | June 18, 2015 | 6:00 AMTamara Bailey

WITH A need to transform the lives of disadvantaged children and young people through training, advice and recreational and leisure activities, the Youth for Progress Community Association is continuing on its mission to achieving as much as it can.

The organisation, which began operations in 2009 by founder and a member of the diaspora Mrytle Roole, has seen several primary, secondary and tertiary students receiving bursaries as well as entrepreneurship opportunities for their parents to have a sustainable means of income.

"We are committed to the task and it is all about reaching out and touching the hearts of others with tangible and intangible rewards" said Venessa Royal, public relations officer of the organisation.

She added: "When students do well, you have to acknowledge their efforts, and when they fall by the way and need a helping hand, someone has to be there to help them shoulder the burden, and that is what we are here for."

In addition to the thousands of dollars already presented in bursaries, several families have received start-up bags of chicken feed and chicks to begin and further boost a chicken-rearing business.

"We want the persons we assist to have a sense of independence and so, instead of giving them money, we help them start a lucrative venture that is able to sustain them for as long as they are willing to work towards it," Royal told Rural Xpress.

A recent beneficiary of the association's outreach project, 23-year-old Hasha Bent, currently enrolled at the University of the West Indies, said had it not been for the bursary received, returning to school may not have been possible.

Treasurer of the charitable organisation, Pauline Anson, said the group is able to fund these individuals through donations of group members and local and international donors.

"This is something I have always wanted to do and, when Sis Roole told me about her vision, I was elated and expressed that would go on board ... . Many of us have the vision, but not the funds, and so we are grateful for those who pool the monies together for us to help others. We encourage donations, whether cash or kind. Those interested in making cash donations may make their deposit at Jamaica National AC# 11120572," said Anson.

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