Jamaica News: Fifty participants in the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme are to benefit from a $6 million donation by the Phillip and Christine Gore Family Foundation, through its recently formed partnership with the HEART Trust/ National Training Agency (NTA).
The cheque was handed over today (June 25) at the training institution’s corporate offices on Oxford Road in Kingston.
The money will be used to pay stipend for the participants from troubled communities in the parishes of St. James and St. Catherine. They will be working as interns with Gore Developments Limited, which has projects in the two parishes.
Each intern will be paid a weekly stipend of $6,000 for a period of 40 weeks. From this, $1,000 will be retained as part of the programme’s compulsory savings component to encourage this habit among the young persons.
Costs related to recruitment, training, monitoring and periodic assessments of the participants will be borne by HEART Trust/NTA.
National Coordinator for the HOPE Programme, Colonel Martin Rickman, who spoke at the ceremony, is encouraging more private sector support for the programme.
“There are many organisations that want to help the unattached youth of Jamaica. This is the perfect way in which they can do it. I would like to call on other organisations to join us and let us show you the way in which you can support youth in the vulnerable communities, thereby getting persons on a path of success and contribute to economic growth and reduce crime in Jamaica,” he said.
For her part, Managing Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Janet Dyer, reiterated the Trust’s commitment to facilitating training and career development opportunities to empower the 200,000 unattached youth across the island.
“Even though we are currently working on that 200,000, the Phillip and Christine Gore Family Foundation is ensuring that those who are coming up are looked after. The renewed HEART Trust with the National Youth Service (NYS), Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and the Apprenticeship Board will ensure that these young persons that you have so generously contributed to assisting, will be equipped with all that is needed to make them into that ‘whole person,’ so they can go out there, earn a decent living and become great contributors to society,” she said.
Speaking with JIS News, Director of the Foundation, Christine Gore, said the HOPE Programme is a “game changer” among the country’s social intervention programmes that seek to engage unattached youth.
“It is going to be impossible for us to reap the benefits of development if we do not deal with these (disadvantaged) young people. All Jamaicans need to stand up and deal with this,” she emphasised.
Launched in May 2017, the HOPE Programme provides educational and job opportunities for young people.
The initiative is targeted at persons aged 18 to 24, who are not employed or enrolled in a school or programme of training.
Source: JIS News