KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 13, 2010.- For the first time, the World Bank Jamaica office offered Civil Society Fund awards to five local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to carry out community work focused on keeping boys (and young men) out of risk.
The five awardees, who each received a US$5,000 grant, were: Spring Village Development Foundation, Children and Community for Change (3Cs), Northern Caribbean University, Joy Town Redevelopment Foundation and Project Hope.
The awardees were selected by a panel which included representatives from larger NGOs, experienced in working with boys at risk. These larger NGOs have agreed to mentor the awardees and to help them to network.
In addition to the grant, the World Bank organized training for the five organizations in monitoring and evaluation to help guide them in tracking progress and results during project implementation. They were introduced to web-based tools that can be used for free or at a minimal cost, including mapping, surveys, and collection and storage of data.
Representatives from the five NGOs were also invited to a national conference, “Boys and Education – A life cycle approach to keeping boys out of risk”, organized by the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona on June 25 at the university campus in Kingston. At the conference, they learned from and shared experiences with other practitioners and researchers in the field.
“The combination of grant funds, training, and knowledge sharing among the NGOs is groundbreaking for Jamaica,” stated Yvonne Iles of Kingston Restoration Company. Iles was a member of the evaluation committee for the Civil Society Fund and was impressed by the rigorous, transparent selection process.
World Bank staff and the Minister of Education officially presented the awards to representatives from the five NGOs at the conference.
The projects proposed by the five organizations vary widely, ranging from summer camps with follow-up activities to programs to teach good parenting skills to young fathers. The selected projects all offer training in life skills, such as conflict resolution, team building, and improving self concept. Some projects also offer skills training to enable participants to seek entrepreneurial opportunities. The evaluation committee sought projects that were sustainable and offered long-term support to participants, as opposed to short one-off programs.