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HEART signs MOU to help youths released from juvenile facilities

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —The HEART Trust/NTA yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Trust of Americas(The Trust),Organization of American States (OAS) and theHousing Opportunity Production and Employment (HOPE) Programmeto provide training and apprenticeship for 40 youths as part of 'A New Path' programme.

The MOU signing took place at the Department of Correction Services (DCS) Training Centre in downtown Kingston.

'A New Path' is a programme by the OAS and The Trust aimed at reducing recidivism amongst Juvenile remandees and charged offendersin juvenile facilities, by offering reintegration services focusing on social reintegration and economic inclusion upon their release.

“The HEART Trust/NTA welcomes this partnership as there is a dire need to find more creative ways to tackle crime and violence in Jamaica. To do this, we have to target our youths and assure them that they will not be left behind by the system or the people of this country”, said Kenesha Campbell,National Director of BPO at HEART, who represented Dr Janet Dyer, Managing Director of HEART Trust/NTA.

Through this partnership, HEART and theHOPE Programme will train the youths in soft skills which will emphasise core values including patriotism, life skills development, cultural awareness and ethics.

“We see this as pivotal to ensuring that these youths are prepared to re-enter society and become positive, law-abiding citizens seeking to uplift and improve themselves and their country. These are the kinds of programmes that we are seeking to implement throughout 2019,” said Campbell.

The programme will also expose the beneficiaries to a four-month apprenticeship programme in various ministries, departments, or agencies of the Jamaican Government or with private entities. The youths will receive a stipend as part of the on-the-job training.

“Our employment numbers are heading in the right direction but we are not resting on our laurels. Indeed, we are doing the opposite. We intend to work with our stakeholders to ensure that more youths get access to skills training and personal development which will guarantee their future success,” said Campbell.

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