Latest Jamaica News, St James (McKoy’s News): Police Summer Camp – Children who live in and around the Salt Spring community in Montego Bay, St James, are having the time of their lives at the St. James Police Division’s Summer Camp.
More than 120 children of varying ages are being hosted at the camp, which is being held under the theme ‘Peace, Love, Unity and Trust’.
The camp is being held by the Constabulary in partnership with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) and, the Salt Spring Community Development Committee. The Social Development Commission is also participating in the camp.
“Members in St. James are continuing their social intervention initiatives with this year’s summer camp at the Salt Spring Primary and Infant School,” the JCF said.
According to the police, the camp is aimed at fostering positive values and attitudes, building self-confidence, conflict resolution while empowering youths.
Participants have been outfitted with JCF-branded t-shirts and police officers from several arms of the constabulary have been spotted playing football, ring games and engaging in other activities with the gleeful and zany youngsters.
The reaction of the public to the camp has also been heartwarming.
“Wow, this is what we need in Jamaica. Love, peace and unity. Thank you so much JCF for giving our children a wonderful time. May God continue to bless and keep you all…,” Andria Campbell posted on the JCF’s Facebook page.
“Doing an awesome job JCF… We have to curve them from early so that they can make a meaningful contribution to society,” Stacey Farquhuarson stated.
The summer camp is among a raft of community development initiatives valued at millions of dollars, which the JCF has been undertaking within Salt Spring, in a bid to improve the lives of the residents, as in the recent past, the community was under siege by gun-toting criminals, who were committing murder with impunity.
Earlier this year, the Constabulary started a breakfast and lunch school-feeding programme for children at the early childhood and primary levels, which has greatly impacted the community. That initiative has received support from private sector entities and even the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). A Police Youth Club and a homework initiative and a police youth club are also in the making.
The summer camp was also deemed necessary by the police to keep the momentum and capitalize on the gains of the school intervention during the eight-week summer break. At the camp, the children are taught social skills as well as about nutrition and have the opportunity to participate in field trips to experience life outside of their community.
So far the children have been taken on excursions to the Rose Hall Great House which was sponsored by the Rose Hall Great House Foundation, Whitter Village and to KFC Restaurant for a treat.
The young men in the community have been coming out in their numbers supporting the camp. A dump site adjacent to the Salt Spring Primary School is to be transformed into a garden and three water tanks are to be placed for use by the primary and basic schools to alleviate water-shortage issues which have had an impact on student turnout at school.
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