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Lee Chin urges J'cans to support youth in juvenile remand centres

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Chairman of the non-profit organisation, Trust for the Americas, Michael Lee-Chin, is calling on influential individuals to provide support for youth, specifically girls in juvenile remand centres, so they can be in a better position to thrive when they leave the system.

“Those of us who have a voice in the system and power in the marketplace should make sure we extend those facilities to those of our daughters in (juvenile remand centres) who don't have a voice… to give them the (opportunity) to be contributory citizens eventually,” Lee Chin said.

The chairman was speaking during a visit to the South Camp Road Juvenile Remand and Correctional Centre yesterday.

Lee-Chin said that Trust for the Americas will be leading the charge for support by designing a programme for the girls at the Centre “that will give them the support they need”.

“The good thing is that they are in a captive environment (in a positive way) where we can influence them in terms of values, in terms of getting them caught up with school. In fact, they should be ahead of their peers, and at the same time, we have to look at transitioning, so that they never come back in this situation and that they are optimistic that they can be contributing citizens to Jamaica,” he said.

“Our job is to help you to get to that point where you feel confident, you feel optimistic, you feel like a good person. We are going to do whatever it takes to help you be transformed from who you think you are now to the beautiful person that is within you,” he assured the girls.

In the meantime, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr; and State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, who accompanied Lee-Chin on the tour of the facility, welcomed the support already being provided under the New Path initiative as well as the additional support that will be forthcoming.

A New Path was implemented by the Organisation of American States (OAS) and Trust for the Americas, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project, which began in January 2015, was scheduled to end in January 2017 but has been extended until September 2019.

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