Youth benefit from JSIF summer camp
A total of 2,130 young people from vulnerable communities across the island benefited from a series of summer camps staged by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) under its World Bank-funded Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP).
Twenty four camps were held in 18 project communities in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, St James, and Westmoreland. The sessions, held from July 1 to August 31 involved two components educational and recreational activities targeting 1,982 children aged six to 16; and vocational, skills and lifestyle training for 148 young people aged 17 to 29.
Participants in the education and recreational aspect benefited from a curriculum covering robotics and renewable energy, sport, arts and craft, entertainment, remedial education, environmental management and agriculture/ agroprocessing. The skills and lifestyle training covered areas such as film production, hospitality services, web design, fashion design, plant maintenance, food and beverage, and landscaping.
Speaking at the closing ceremony at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, JSIF Social Development Manager, Mona Sue-Ho, informed that more than 28 per cent of skills trainees have been employed or placed in internships. Another 200 young people will be moving into other forms of training and internship positions.
Operations Manager of the World Bank, Asha Johnson, informed that the camps, staged for the second year, "provide an important intervention in unleashing potential and meeting the existing needs of persons in the beneficiary communities".
"These communities present some of the greatest opportunities for social development and some targeted attention," she said.
The camps, undertaken at a cost of $38.6 million, involved partnership with entities such as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Dispute Resolution Foundation; Caribbean Maritime Institute; University of Technology; University of the West Indies; and Manpower Maintenance Services Limited.
The ICDP, which is being undertaken at a cost of US$42 million, aims to promote public safety and transformation through the delivery of basic infrastructure and social services. These include road rehabilitation, improving stormwater drainage, installing water supply and sanitation household connections, solid-waste management, improving electricity connections and lighting, construction of community integrated spaces, conflict mediation, counselling, education, employment, school-safety and violence-interruption activities.
The six-year project, which got under way in August 2014, will benefit approximately 89,000 people across the targeted communities.