SANTA makes move to help at-risk youth
Shayne Fairman, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Charity organisation SANTA (Seeing A Need, Taking Action), which has donated around $26 million to charitable causes since 2001, has partnered with the Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) to launch a golf mentorship initiative for at- risk youths in the country.
The initiative was launched last Friday at the Constant Spring Golf Club. Youths from 18 inner city communities are set to benefit. Some of those communities include Maverly, Grants Pen, Whitehall Avenue and Elleston Road.
CSJP, which is a part of the national security ministry, was designed as an alternative and more complementary way of fighting crime. The agency also serves as a facilitator and mentors at-risk children.
Patrice Tomlinson Nephew, communications manager at CSJP, has lauded SANTA for the volunteering to become mentors through golf.
"We at CSJP try to give the youngsters an alternative life," she said. "Sports and culture are important components of behaviour which can and help change their lives," she added.
She added that golf was chosen as a means of diversifying the kids' interest levels as well as to help them to cross into a new socio-economic divide.
"Golf will give these youngsters an opportunity to learn new life skills, about each other, and learn discipline to achieve life goals," she continued.
Crystal Gayle, who is on a golf scholarship at the University of Technology, has benefited financially and by way of mentorship from the CSJP and SANTA alike.
"I come from a poor family, but through golf, I've got to experience a wide range of people and places," she indicated.
"Thanks to SANTA and CSJP, I can be able to make connections for future employment," Gayle said.
The golfer, who will be competing today at SANTA's charity golf tournament, said one of her aims is to give back through programmes promoted by SANTA and the CSJP.