KINGSTON, Jamaica, August 2, 2011. -Representatives from four Jamaican NGOs have received grants from the World Bank’s 2011 Civil Society Grant Fund to support their work to keep boys and young men out of risk. The grant recipients for 2011 are Northern Caribbean University, Project Hope, Spring Village Youth Transformation Project and Hibiscus Jamaica.
Grantees’ projects include: a training and counseling program for young fathers, a life skills club for unattached young men in a rural community, summer day camp activities for inner city children and life skills training and remedial education for children of former female prison inmates. A total of US$30,000 was provided for these projects.
The grants were presented during a recent workshop which not only saw the handing over of funds to this year’s recipients but also a sharing of project experiences by the 2010 grantees.
“Thank you for….the opportunity to participate in what was a most useful and inspiring exercise. It was certainly a real pleasure to interact with fellow recipients, share the lessons learned, and celebrate our mutual achievements in our various community engagement activities,” said Yvonne Bignall of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), in commenting on the workshop.
For Ms. Bignall’s team at NCU’s Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Centre, the aim was to build both the employability and parenting skills of young fathers in rural Jamaica. They reported that for the life of the project they reached 30 young fathers through an intensive one week camp and follow up monthly mentoring sessions. The participants, who all attended a graduation ceremony for the programme in June 2011, said they felt empowered by the intervention. The first phase has been so successful that four graduates will be assisting in the delivery of this year’s new program.
Mavis Ferguson, who works with the faith-based initiative, Project Hope also expressed her pleasure with the workshop and her gratitude for the Bank’s support to at-risk young men and women in Jamaica.
“It was really a pleasure sharing and listening to the achievements of the programs that the Bank funded over the past year and receiving suggestions from all present and via satellite. Sincere thanks on behalf of Project HOPE Foundation for your support over the past year and for considering us again this year,” Ms. Ferguson noted.
Country Representative Giorgio Valentini stated his support for the community level work being done to keep Jamaican boys and young men out of risk.
“Young men in Jamaica are too often both the victims and perpetrators of violence and many boys run the risk of being left behind in the education system. It is encouraging to see that a number of stakeholders have recognised the need to create supportive environments to keep these boys and young men out of risk. We at the World Bank are happy to be able to support these efforts through the Civil Society Grant Fund for yet another year,” Mr. Valentini said.