NCU provides healing programmes
Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
NORTHERN CARIBBEAN University (NCU) is hoping key outreach programmes it provides in parenting, counselling and entrepreneurship can help stem various types of antisocial behaviour affecting Mandeville and its environs.
The Seventh-day Adventist-run institution was called on to explain its role in helping to rehabilitate Mandeville which, according to several local representatives of industry and commerce attending a Gleaner Editors' Forum held in the town last week, it deemed was beginning to show signs of crumbling in the wake of the monstrous fallout from the bauxite activity.
While highlighting a significant upturn in criminal activity in areas where members of its faculty and students reside - a trend Assistant Superintendent of Police Llamar Clarke of the Mandeville police acknowledged - Dr Teran Milford, NCU's point man for Community Outreach, said the institution was already taking a proactive approach to engage the communities positively.
He pointed to three programes funded primarily by the university geared at arresting various roots of the problem. The university, he revealed, was in the midst of conducting an eight-week parenting programme in the Barnstaple, May Day areas - a mile east of the main campus. Some 30 parents have signed on and here it is hoped participants could better influence those in their charges. Greenvale, one of the big regions for crime, he said, will be the next target area.
"We're looking at it from a preventative aspect," Milford told the forum inside the Golf View Hotel.
A lot of the youngsters drawn to criminal activity, he believes, came from errant homes.
"Much of what we see comes from breakdowns in the home and family structure. If we can get parents to improve, and to better understand the challenges of juveniles, then this will surely help in the way they find proper solutions for the challenges they face."
NCU also operates the Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Center located at the RADA building in Mandeville. Here, persons can literally walk off the street and into its offices for various kinds of counselling. This centre caters for victims of abuse, but Milford said it had the capacity to respond to those faced with new recession-linked realities.
"Persons who lost their jobs have a tendency of going through a traumatic period where they are coming to terms with new realities and lack of options. Proper counseling can start a new way forward," Milford pointed out.
The university also operates the Morrison Center on Brumalia Road since 2006, which specialises in providing business education, training and advisory services to micro, small and medium sized enterprises. Here, he disclosed, persons who have lost their jobs and may not have had a business orientation can learn and launch entrepreneurial endeavours.