Thu | May 25, 2017

Honour Award: JSIF in the Community

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 1:00 AM

INNER CITY YOUTH ARE PROVIDED WITH EMPLOYABLE SKILLS

One of the JSIF's success projects is the World Bank-funded Inner-City Basic Services Project, which has resulted in significant improvements in the quality of life of residents in 12 inner-city communities.

Among the numerous initiatives under the project, it has undertaken a training programme at a cost of $3.34 million to equip unattached youth with the necessary skills to find gainful employment.

The Hope Zoo Preservation Foundation was also a partner in the training project, which contributed $334,000, providing technical support and the training venue for a landscaping programme.

Under the initiative, six males and five females - hailing from the communities of Whitfield Town, Jones Town, Craig Town, Passmore Town, and Federal Gardens in Kingston; and March Pen and Central Village in St Catherine - benefited from the full scope of the landscaping programme facilitated by the Ebony Park Heart Academy in Clarendon. Among other things, they learnt how to establish and maintain landscaped areas, plant crops by hand, and operate small equipment.

During the 11-month landscaping programme, 11 young persons, aged 17 to 27 years, were also exposed to ornamental horticulture and introduced to landscaping, ornamental horticulture, and land preparation environmental principles. Additionally, they engaged in animal keeping and building practices in the garden area, where they also built a gazebo. The participants' landscaping skills were put to the test as they assisted with the ongoing beautification works being undertaken at Hope Zoo, which included the planting of various trees and flowers.

Director of the JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said the project demonstrated the Government's and donors' continued commitment "to explore different ways to stimulate young minds", and to also prepare youth with skills to "enable them to be employable".

PIPED WATER FOR PORTLAND RESIDENTS

Over 2,000 residents of Fruitful Vale in west Portland benefited from a new water-supply system and expanded multi-complex centre. The landmark water project - funded by the Caribbean Development Bank under the JSIF's Basic Needs Trust Fund - involved the completion of a water-supply scheme among the communities of Industry to Content, Dumfries to Coopers Hill, Skatta Spring to Twickenham, as well as the replacement of the pipeline in the Raw Water District with a potable supply using resources from the Dunbar Spring.

In May of last year, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen was on hand to endorse the project.

FREE BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR OVER 4,000 PERSONS

Eleven-year-old Tashana Buckley of Tawes Meadows in St Catherine was among those who benefited under the JSIF's Operation Certification Programme. She joins over 4,000 persons from 12 targeted inner-city communities who were provided with free birth certificates under Phase One and Two of Operation Certification, which falls under the Inner-City Basic Services Project.

The JSIF believed this was an important initiative to undertake as birth registration is fundamental to recognising and protecting an individual's right to an identity as well as proof of existence. In Jamaica, birth registration is a critical issue affecting the fulfilment of rights such as access to education, social welfare benefits, health care, and housing and employment opportunities. People who are not registered may not be able to access services on as full and equal a basis as those who are registered.

Operation Certification is a partnership between the JSIF and the Registrar General's Department (RGD) and was funded to the tune of $6.4 million, courtesy of the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica. The project targeted persons within the selected communities who were without the required birth registration and other nationally required civil registration documents.

The initiative also included a survey of approximately 1,051 households, which was undertaken in December 2012, to collect data on other social services needs, including the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education, the National Insurance Scheme, and the Taxpayer Registration Number, among others.