Sun | Feb 5, 2023

LASCO Chin Foundation, USAID train youth to manage family assets

Published:Wednesday | December 7, 2022 | 12:06 AM
From left: Rodane Cummings, Shamara Stewart, Akil Staple and Jessica McBean discuss personal goals during the USAID-LASCO Chin Foundation peer-to-peer financial assets training, held at the Holiday Inn Resort recently.
From left: Rodane Cummings, Shamara Stewart, Akil Staple and Jessica McBean discuss personal goals during the USAID-LASCO Chin Foundation peer-to-peer financial assets training, held at the Holiday Inn Resort recently.
Young people from St James, Clarendon, St Catherine and Kingston and St Andrew recently successfully participated in three days of peer-to-peer training on economic stability at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. The training was conducted by the LASCO
Young people from St James, Clarendon, St Catherine and Kingston and St Andrew recently successfully participated in three days of peer-to-peer training on economic stability at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. The training was conducted by the LASCO Chin Foundation and jointly funded by the USAID. At left (front row) is master trainer Dwayne Gutzmer.
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Twenty-four young people drawn from 12 communities in four parishes have been trained in various aspects of economic management. The training was conducted by LASCO Chin Foundation under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Positive Pathways grant initiative.

Programme Manager of LASCO Chin Foundation Paul Irving explained that “we are training young people about economic sustainability, how it is that they consider family assets, the matter of money coming in and moving out of the household, how do they prioritise expenditures, and seeing education as part of an investment”.

The 24 participants of the three-day, peer-to-peer training at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay were selected from the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon and St James. They were chosen based on their involvement in community-based activities. “We also told the mobilisers that we didn’t want the most vocal, the most vibrant, the most eloquent because those persons get opportunities all the time, but they should be able to speak with each other and are engaged with young people within their communities.”

The facilitators were led by master trainer Dwayne Gutzmer, who elaborated that “a big part of the financial assets training was to help the young people to have conversations about finances, and money in particular, and how to manage money”. He added, “We want to help them to understand that these conversations can be effortlessly and easily had with their colleagues and their households.”

The training programme took a soft approach, covering topics such as understanding the difference between needs and wants; differentiating when something is important and necessary from when it’s just hype or a fad. It is also expected that the young people will share the messages with their peers and acquaintances, and be able to lead in discussions that will educate others on how to take care of their financial assets, calling upon eight different topics that they were taken through in the training sessions.

FOSTERING RESILIENCE

The USAID Positive Pathways activity in Jamaica is a five-year, multi-parish, violence-prevention activity. Through a community-driven approach, Positive Pathways strengthens the capacity of parents, caregivers, and communities to leverage economic and social resources to prevent youth violence, while establishing pathway programmes to support youth at risk of involvement in crime and violence.

The partnership with LASCO Chin Foundation is part of an effort to foster resilience, bringing together rigorous research and on-the-ground programming towards an enabling environment for sustained violence prevention. It is expected that this partnership will provide a wide range and diverse set of economic service activities to parents, caregivers, youth and community members in each of the Positive Pathways’ 12 target communities, in order to enhance access to, and attitudes towards, economic resources for families and youth.