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Justice Minister Lauds Work Of YMCA

Jamaica News: Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has lauded the tireless work of the Kingston Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in positively impacting the lives of Jamaica’s youth, through its various community outreach programmes.

Speaking at the launch of the Association’s 100th anniversary celebrations at its Hope Road location, in Kingston, on Wednesday (November 6), Mr. Chuck said he was one of the youths who benefited from the input of the YMCA, which “played a very important part in my development, especially during my teenage years”.

The Kingston YMCA is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that was founded in June 1920. It is a family-oriented organisation that seeks to promote the welfare of young people through spiritual, social, intellectual and physical activities, geared at the development of spirit, mind and body.

The Justice Minister said he greatly appreciated and was grateful for the mentorship he received and the positive values and attitudes that were inculcated in him.

This, he said, was especially important to him, having lost his father when he was nine years old.

Mr. Chuck said he would be doing all he can to support the continued development of the organisation, and pledged to assist with its fundraising activities, “so that the Kingston YMCA can really expand its programme so that more young people can be involved and get the benefit of the development of mind, body and spirit”.

The Minister, who is a former Chairman of the YMCA Board and Fundraising Committee, also expressed the hope that some of the programmes of the Justice Ministry, especially the Child Diversion Programme, could be incorporated into the Association’s outreach initiatives to help even more youngsters.

In the meantime, Chairman of the Kingston YMCA’s 100th Anniversary Committee, Hon. Mike Fennell, said the Association will be looking at various ways to mark the celebration, some of which will unfold over time.

One principal activity will be the preparation of a magazine that will document the history of the YMCA over the past 100 years, which will also be made available in a digital format.

Another plan is to renew the mission of the YMCA and re-energise its operation. In addition, there is a proposal to have a wall of fame for those persons and institutions that have contributed over the period of time.

Mr. Fennell said the occasion will also be used to raise funds for not only sustaining the existing programmes, “but for expanding the programmes as well as to meet the challenges of now and into the future”.

There are also plans to upgrade and modernise the YMCA’s facilities.

The Kingston YMCA’s major achievements include the establishment of Boys’ Town in 1940 – an outreach youth community training centre for the vocational training and spiritual upliftment of depressed youth in the inner city of Western Kingston.

It also established the Youth Development Programme (formerly Street Corner Boys’ Programme) in 1974; and a Leadership development training programme for young people between 14 and 26 years of age.

The Association also offers aquatics, tae kwon do, summer camp, counselling, sports, skills training in barbering and welding, and services to persons with disabilities.

The Kingston YMCA will be celebrating 100 years of existence on June 9, 2020.

 

Source: JIS News

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