Jamaican News

Public and Private Sector Entities Pledge Support to JCF Youth Camp

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has received pledges of support from several public- and private-sector entities to expand the reach of its IPAD Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Camp, aimed at providing social intervention for young people.

Among them are Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Carib Cement, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Digicel Jamaica and Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

IPAD, which is an acronym for Identity, Purpose, Attitude and Destiny, was rolled out in 2015 in Westmoreland, to instil good values and discipline among students. It seeks to help students gain respect for the law, the police and their peers, while also acquiring social and problem-solving skills.

The camp, which is the brainchild of Acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant, is staged annually under the theme ‘IPAD 4 Living’.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., hailed the programme as a practical and proactive way to provide intervention for the youth and treat with the issues relating to crime and violence.

“I give it my full support, and I am asking for all Jamaica, especially corporate citizens, to really come on board, not just financially, but to understand the concept, buy into the value of the programme and support it by volunteering your team members to be a part of the initiative, through empowerment and mentorship,” he said.

He was speaking in an interview with JIS News at a corporate breakfast on Wednesday (March 29) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew to seek sponsorship for the third staging of the programme.

Senator Charles Jr. noted that it is important for participants in the camp to engage with persons, who are positive role models.

The Acting Commissioner, in her address, called for the support of more private-sector entities, in order to refine the structure of the programme; expand its reach, particularly in the western section of the island; and to provide mentorship.

“We don’t just want to train police facilitators to be able to take the message to students. We want other persons to come on board with us to push forward a concept of conversing with youth. Rather than telling them what is wrong, (we want to) show them the potential of what is right and what is possible,” she said.

Mrs. Grant said she also wants to expand the programme’s engagement with parents and communities.

“What we want to be able to do is to create improved citizenry in our schools. We want our students to have the kind of citizenship where they understand the purpose of school, their roles and responsibility and are supported by the adults governing the school and the community,” she said.

“We have forged bonds of friendship with our youngsters, we have seen relationships among student and families repaired, relationships with teachers repaired and we have seen communities embracing it,” she added.

For summer 2017, Mrs. Grant said the aim is to stage up to six camps across the island, reaching more than 600 young persons. She also intends to make the IPAD ideology the focus of camps already being hosted by the JCF.

“Let us pledge that we are going to invest in our own future as Jamaicans by investing in the youth that belong to all of us. Give generously, and think about how you are going to work with us to ensure that an even more valuable resource is made available to the youth – your time and your knowledge,” she urged.

Chief Executive Officer of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, in commending the initiative, gave a commitment to support the promotion of the programme and its positive impact on the youth participants.

Article by: Denise Dennis
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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