Sun | Dec 17, 2017

FLOW Foundation partners with JCF’s VIP for second year

Published:Monday | September 4, 2017 | 12:03 AM
From left: Deputy Superintendent of Police Ivel Calder; Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve McGregor; Errol Miller, executive chairman of the FLOW Foundation; and Pearnel Charles Jnr, state minister for national security, examine the contents of a backpack presented to young Petagaye Miller during a treat held at the Fletcher’s Land Community Centre on Friday, August 25.
Children from the Fletcher’s Land community in downtown Kingston pose for the cameras with their new backpacks presented by the FLOW Foundation and the Ministry of National Security.
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The FLOW Foundation has again joined forces with the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to bring much-needed back-to-school assistance to students in the Fletcher’s Land community in downtown Kingston.

On August 25, representatives from the JCF and the Ministry of National Security were joined by Errol Miller, executive chairman of the FLOW Foundation, in visiting the Fletcher’s Land Community Centre to distribute backpacks filled with stationery items to approximately 50 children who reside in the area.

Currently, the CSSB is spearheading a Violence Interruption Programme (VIP) within that community that is often severely affected by crime and violence. The initiative seeks to cripple the cycle through meaningful interactions with residents, especially the youth.

Acting Assistant Commission of Police and head of the Community Safety and Security Branch, Steve McGregor, who attended the treat, encouraged the children to make the most of the time they have in school.

Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister for national security, in addressing the gathering said: “If we are going to break the deadly scourge of crime and violence in this country, it is going to require strong partnerships between the police, the community and corporate Jamaica, with initiatives like this that help you the youth to become better citizens.”

Shared Miller: “At FLOW, our mission dictates that we play a role in connecting communities and transforming lives. We see this partnership as a noble opportunity to do just that. We also commend the JCF for the alternative approach to violence prevention.”

... Focus on high-risk groups

The Violence Interruption Programme incorporates the approach of recruiting and deploying trained violence interrupters from the selected communities to initiate as well as sustain previous efforts to eradicate violence. Heavy focus is placed on identifying groups at the highest risk of involvement of shooting or killing, interrupting potential violence by mediating conflicts and preventing retaliation, while attempting to change behaviours and norms through community interactions.

This is the second year that FLOW has partnered with the JCF on the programme, which has so far been implemented in St James Western, St Catherine North, Clarendon, Kingston and Westmoreland.