TURKEYEN, Greater Georgetown, Guyana (CARICOM) — Youngsters from the Anchovy High School in St. James, Jamaica should soon be benefitting from a series of capacity building training workshops and other activities to build resilience, strengthen protective factors and reduce threats related to violence among students under the CARICOM – Spain ‘Reducing Youth on Youth Violence in CARICOM Member States Pilot Project which is being piloted in their school.
While the Project will be piloted in the Anchovy High School, representatives from seven schools from various communities across St. James as well as principals, teachers, guidance counsellors and Deans of Discipline attended the opening ceremony and participated in a subsequent training session for the assessment of risk, threats, and protective factors for violence in schools and communities.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Programme Manager for Sustainable Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Beverly Reynolds highlighted the fact that empowering young people by investing in their development is critical for the prevention of youth violence. She further stated that the Project seeks to level the field in which the game of life is played out for our youths who are either at risk of getting involved in or are already involved in crime and violence and are in need of a second chance.
In her remarks, Deputy Ambassador from Spain to Jamaica, Ms. Victoria Tur noted that the Government of Spain was committed to supporting regional integration and in this regard, was pleased that a number of CARICOM Member States would be benefitting from this initiative. Ms. Tur opined that “violence needs to be addressed from a multisectoral approach and that is why we think this project can be helpful.” She also informed the participants that capacity building for the public sector within CARICOM and security were among the priorities identified by the Government of Spain in the recently concluded CARICOM –Spain Joint Commission meeting for further collaboration. The Deputy Ambassador expressed pleasure that the Project was to be implemented in Montego Bay since many of the activities funded by the Government of Spain in Jamaica were concentrated in Kingston, the nation’s capital.
Director of Safety and Security at the Ministry of Education Sergeant Coleridge Minto, in his statement said the project would be instructive in determining how to address youth on youth violence which is an issue currently being grappled with in Jamaican schools. He said he was pleased with the initiative from CARICOM and Spain. The Ministry of education gives its full support to the project and is willing to work with the partners to make it a success” he said.
Consultations have been concluded in Antigua and Barbuda and the CARICOM team’s next stop is St. Kitts and Nevis. Additional consultations are expected to be conducted in St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.