Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:
SOME 3,000 persons from 12 inner-city communities in the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Inner-City Basic Services Project are to be provided with free birth certificates, under phase two of Operation Certification.
Operation Certification is a partnership between JSIF and the Registrar General's Department (RGD) and is funded to the tune of $6.4 million by the World Bank and Government of Jamaica.
It will run from February to March and aims to satisfy the needs of persons within the targeted communities who are without the required birth registration and other nationally required civil registration documents.
"We do find that persons, in order to access a range of services, many of them lack the basic birth certificates, hence we have persons enrolling in HEART Trust/NTA, we have persons who have been trained and seeking employment, they don't have birth certificates," Mona Sue-Ho, social development manager, JSIF, told The Gleaner.
The initiative includes a survey of approximately 1,051 households conducted in December last year in the 12 communities.
"We wanted to find out the other services that persons are unable to access, so we did a household survey and we found that there are other services that people need like (PATH) the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education, NIS (National Insurance Scheme) and TRN (Tax Registration Number)," explained Dawn White, social services field officer, JSIF.
As was done in 2009, under phase one of Operation Certification when 1,200 persons benefited, JSIF will be hosting a series of information fairs in collaboration with the RGD in these communities.
"It will be anybody from zero up who can get a birth certificate. It can be a newborn child, it can be an elderly person who has never registered, it can be somebody who wants to replace their birth certificate," Sue-Ho explained.
Additionally, agencies such as the Tax Administration Jamaica, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Health will be on hand to provide various services.
Sue-Ho has urged residents to maximise the opportunity to access these services, particularly those offered by the RGD.
"It's a free service. We are not limiting the service only to the issuing of new birth certificates," she noted. "Try to bring any information you have that can assist with making the process smoother," advised Sue-Ho.