YMCA to launch parenting workshop, battles on amid financial challenges
Known for helping the nation's youth, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is also catering to parents.
"We're setting up a parenting place to see how we can help the parents as well to deal with the problems they are going through," said Sarah Newland-Martin, the association's general secretary. She explained the workshop will be run by two tertiary students who are doing the practical requirements for their degree.
"They (parents) need an outlet as well to be able to deal with some of the stress that they are going through."
Newland-Martin, who hopes to have the workshop running by April, explained the YMCA polled parents asking what they would like. Some chose to continue the literacy programme and others wanted computer workshops. "It (the YMCA) is a university in itself," she said.
Newland-Martin also said there was a burgeoning partnership with the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), the idea being for the JLS to help with the association's library and with the boys as well.
"They are putting something in writing and then it's for us to agree how we're going to proceed," she said.
The general secretary said the popular all-schools swim relay is back on this year after a hiatus.
"We normally have about 40 schools participating at the event and they've been asking us to get back the relays. So we're going back into it this year," she said, noting that long-time sponsor Crimson Dawn was on board as well as Burger King. But she admitted the struggle to access funding continues.
"How do you tell somebody that you can't help them because they can't pay for it?"
Newland-Martin said the YMCA earns income in some instances, but offers a social service in others.
"This is why we try as much as possible, that those who can pay, pay like for swimming, tae kwon do and badminton." Attempts to find a designated person to plan fund-raising events have so far been unsuccessful, but Newland-Martin remains defiant.
"My theme this year is that we're not going under."