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Construction of new Youth Information Centre under way in Lucea

Published:Saturday | August 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Site where construction for the new Youth Information Centre, is under way at the Watson Taylor Park in Lucea. - Photo by Claudia Gardner

WESTERN BUREAU:

Construction of the new Youth Information Centre (YIC) for the parish of Hanover is now under way at the Watson Taylor Park in Lucea.

However, according to youth empowerment officer for Hanover, Donmarie Latouche, the completion date has shifted from November this year to January 2015.

"Construction has commenced. The contractors are there cleaning up and so forth. Projection for completion of the project seem to span to early next year. It was hoped that it would have been this November, but as it is now, I doubt that it will be completed this year, so the projection is about January," Latouche told Western Focus in an interview earlier this week.

Upon completion of the YIC at Watson Taylor Park, it will house three development agencies.

It is expected that the Hanover Youth Council will be active in the operations of the facility, which will be supported by youth volunteers who will be key in its operations.

Operation Phoenix

According to the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the YIC in Jamaica has been developed as a direct policy of Government over several years under a special youth empowerment and participation programme dubbed 'Operation Phoenix', which was approved by the Government in 2002 and operated under the directorship of the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD).

"The policy objective, in the main, is to empower youth through the dissemination of information, the provision of other services, and outreach activities at central and easily accessible locations islandwide," ministry documents state.

In selecting locations for YIC set-up and operations, the NCYD has been focusing on the acquisition and use of underutilised space in parish council buildings, on government or parish council-owned lands, and on properties leased to or held in trust by entities under formal agreements with the National Land Agency and which are, ideally, in parish capitals, urban centres, or are close to urban centres.

Through the YIC, youngsters in Hanover will now be able to, among a wide range of things, obtain information about opportunities available to them; browse the Internet; become more involved in youth work; attend empowerment sessions and workshops; prepare résumés; get referrals for professional help and counselling; and get assistance in typing an application or other letters.

They will also be able to study in a quiet and resourceful place; get assistance with their homework; meet peers and find friends; find youth clubs, pastors, or mentors; play outdoor and indoor games; improve their computer skills; and watch TV or DVDs.

- C.G.