LASCO Chin Foundation launched

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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LASCO Chin Foundation (LCF) was officially launched at a press breakfast on Thursday at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel's Venetian Suite.

Chairman of the foundation, founder and executive chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies Lascelles A Chin told the launch that it was always his life's dream to help Jamaica.

“This foundation will create a legacy greater than all my business achievements combined. Long after I am gone and the present LASCO management team is no longer around, the LASCO Chin Foundation will be here in Jamaica,” Chin told the gathering.

“In business life it is important to recognise the ills of the society in which we operate, and [to always be] working at being a part of the solution. We need to get to the core cause and build from the ground up, step by step, in a deliberate and planned way,” he continued.

CEO of the new charitable arm of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, Professor Rosalea Hamilton detailed the vision, mission and core strategies of the LCF.

“Our vision is to change the way Jamaica views and treats its most vulnerable young people, so that they can be empowered and have access to a range of opportunities to succeed in life generally and business in particular. We, therefore, see our mission as early intervention to help Jamaica's at-risk youths develop the relationships, goals and capacities needed to break the cycle of poverty and crime and become productive members of society — especially as successful entrepreneurs,” said Professor Hamilton.

In pursuing its mission, she added, the LCF will be guided by the Sustainable Socio-Economic Intervention (SSI) Modelę in its outreach efforts.

The model aims to battle the core problems of poverty — with special emphasis on at-risk youths who have a high likelihood of exposure to the criminal justice system and/or involvement in crime — and deficiencies in the quality of services (solutions) offered to the youth in key areas such as education, health care, crime prevention, sports, music/culture and climate change awareness and resilience.

The foundation will implement two key interventions: The SSI Entrepreneurship Programme, a two-phased initiative that includes providing beneficiaries with entrepreneurial training and opportunities to practise elements of their training while earning money in an intensive, highly incentivised street vending programme or other micro-business sales programme for at least six months in Phase 1; and the second phase assists beneficiaries with establishing or improving their own business through a range of hand-holding interventions for five to 10 years.

“This entrepreneurship intervention will also embrace natural “hub & spokes” clusters of businesses so as to foster the collective efficiency, networking, information and knowledge sharing, collective access to markets and more — while fostering the entrepreneurial growth of at-risk youths,” Prof Hamilton said.

In June this year the first cohort of 21 beneficiaries were recruited and trained by the LCF in collaboration with the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE).

Said Hamilton: “The recruits participated in a three-day training programme designed to deepen their understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and to prepare them for street vending. At the end of the training, trainees received a VIP Vendor Membership Card; a starter kit valued at $50,000 and were assigned mentors.”

She said private and public sector partners assisted in the start-up intervention, including Citizen Safety and Security Programme, the Anglican Church (St Luke's Christ Church), Social Development Commission, Eastern Peace Centre, and Operation Save Jamaica.

The second key intervention is the SSI Schooling Support Programme that will target at-risk youths from as early as 10 years of age and partner with primary schools to identify students due to sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) who are unlikely to overcome the extreme risk factors affecting their school performance, unless they receive assistance. Each student will be provided with a consistent, long-term, professional relationship for approximately 10 years which will focus on personal development goals, which will also support the youth in his/her school, home and community.

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