Help us! - Mighty Gully youth beg for intervention
OLD HARBOUR, St Catherine:
Last Friday's staging of the Old Harbour Development Committee's Cassava and Seafood Festival and Expo might not have brought out the crowd, but there was no shortage of talent.
Among them was the youth involved in the Mighty Gully project, funded by the United States Agency For International Development (USAID) Comet II Community Empowerment and Transformation Project through the HEART Trust/NTA.
Prince Myers, a papier-m‚che teacher in the project, said he was happy to partner with the Mighty Gully crew, a family owned woodcarving business located close to Marlie Mount in St Catherine.
"Two other groups linked with Mighty Gully recently through USAID, participated in a project which comprised about 40-50 persons," he told Rural Xpress.
Myers said the youth enjoyed the experience so much, they are now unhappy that the programme will be over in another few days.
"It (project) kept them off the streets and we (teachers) were able to bond with them. My wish is that somehow it will continue and they can learn more and start making a living from it," he said.
Wyatt Gordon, one of the students who benefited from the programme, is calling for more input from the Government and his constituency representative for South West St Catherine, Everald Warmington.
"We want the representative for our constituency to come check on us, see what we are doing. What is happening here is impacting unemployed youth, people on the streets come and learn and we build a bond with them. This is one effective avenue that can help in the fight against crime," he said.
Gordon said he wants the Government to facilitate them by helping to source the necessary tools.
"When we have to import raw materials, if we could get them duty-free, that would be great. We are not looking for any handouts, we just want a fighting chance to make this business grow," is the heartfelt plea coming from him.
Gordon also dream of seeing a body being established from the craft industry.
According to him, just as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority has been established to assist farmers with technical help and advice, it would be great to see their business having that kind of assistance.
Myers said it breaks his heart that the programme will be ending soon, and his wish is that a place can be found to continue what was started.