Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, has called for an “all hands on deck” approach to revitalising youth clubs in communities across the island.
He said that a vibrant youth club movement is critical in ensuring that young people are positively engaged.
“Young people, regardless of where they are born or where they are from, like to feel a sense of belonging… a sense of togetherness… and feel that they are a part of something. For those of us who grew up as part of youth clubs, we know and can appreciate the sense of togetherness that they provide,” he pointed out.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information have a critical role to play in getting the youth club movement going once again,” he added.
Mr. Green was delivering the keynote address at the launch of a Cross-island Run in celebration of Local Government and Community Development Month 2018, at Independence Park, Westmoreland, on October 10.
He argued that young people are always seeking a sense of belonging and “unless the effort is made to get things back on track… communities will always have an uphill task to get the young and vulnerable to stay on the straight and narrow path”.
“The young people have never lost that feeling… . It’s just a case that they are getting it from other places,” he pointed out.
“Here in Westmoreland… the gangs bring them in and give them that sense of importance. A lot of it is because there is that space created in which they can operate,” he contended.
Mr. Green informed that the Ministry has implemented a ‘Charge Up’ project “to see if we can get our fledging youth clubs and those that have gone dormant back up and running”.
Under the initiative, youth liaison officers/youth club assistants will be dispatched to provide support to clubs, and the entities will receive grants to implement sustainable projects.
Mr. Green said it does not matter what affiliation the youth clubs might want to take on as long as they are organised and are engaged in productive activities.
“Whether they want to be police youth clubs, sports youth clubs… I don’t care about the title. We just need functional bodies of youth that are organised to do productive things,” he pointed out.
He noted that the “SDC has a lot of experience in putting together youth clubs, and [the Ministry] can provide the human capital to get this going. November is Local Government and Community Development Month, and I would love to get something going by then”.
Source: JIS News