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Professional Development Training Institute Girls Town Changing Lives Through Skills Training

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2015 | 4:45 PM
Pastor Percival Palmer, director of the Professional Development Training Institute talking with animation students Rogina Chambers, Kimoi Shey and Imhotop Sutherland.

"This year celebrates 50 years since we've been around," declared Pastor Percival Palmer, director of the Professional Development Training Institute.

The institute is a community-based training facility that is funded partly by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the HEART Trust NTA and is run by Whole Life Ministries. When a Gleaner team visited the institute yesterday, students involved in the animation training programme were quick to show off their handy work. Kevin Nesbeth, Rogina Chambers and Kimoi Shey all attested to the impact that exposure to animation has had on them.

"Right now I am using my skills to develop posters about gender-based violence because I believe that is an important message that needs to be shared in the Waterhouse community," Nesbeth said.

"Before the programme, I was at home not doing anything but now when I walk in my community people can say 'yes, that girl is doing something with her life' and that makes me feel very proud. I can use Photoshop and the Toon animation programme to do things I could not do before," said Chambers, who hails from Denham Town.

"We cater to the communities in and around here - Maxfield Avenue, Denham Town, Rema - even persons from May Pen, because we've built the reputation as a community based intervention facility, because we get help from HEART Trust NTA," Percival highlighted.

"The programme has greatly impacted the communities in and around the area. Just ask the young people how the skills and personal development that they get here has pulled them from a life of crime and from being at risk," Palmer said.

- Mikhail Williams