Regional

Manchester NGO calls young women for educational opportunities

Alicia Sutherland
Observer staff reporter
sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 18, 2017

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Plans are in full gear for forty young women in Central Jamaica, who otherwise may not have been able to advance their skill set, to start the new year with educational and empowerment opportunities.

The participants are set to benefit from the second phase of a project called REAP (Realise, Embrace, Achieve your Purpose) in January 2018.

Among other things, life skills, job readiness training, English, basic communication skills and basic mathematics will be provided.

It is an initiative of Manchester-based non-government organisation Young Women of Purpose/ Young Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) and is being funded through a C$23,000 grant from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.

Founder of YWOP/YMOP and project manager of REAP 2, Lanisia Rhoden, told the audience at the project launch at Neil's Auditorium in Mandeville last Wednesday that persons can still register to participate.

“We have about ten available spaces remaining, if you know of any young woman who could benefit from our REAP programme,” she said.

When the programme starts on January 8 the participants will attend classes three days per week for five weeks and earn certification.

Twenty-four-year-old Shevenese Martin told the Jamaica Observer Central that when she learnt about the programme on social media and through friends, in addition to getting the chance to expand her knowledge, she was impressed by the fact that she would have a certificate to show that she was a participant.

The young mother said that she will be travelling to Manchester from Clarendon for the opportunity.

Another participant who will be taking that journey is 20-year-old Simona Shields.

She said that currently she is a practical nurse with dreams of being a registered nurse and an entrepreneur in the health sector.

Shields said that she was impressed by the words of motivation passed on at the launch as her father was killed by gunmen when she was seven years old and outside of her mother she has no one to motivate her.

The REAP programme is targeting “at risk” young women who have experienced trauma such as abuse, violence, teen pregnancy or who are unemployed.

Client Partnership Manger at Jamaica Money Market Brokers and guest speaker at the launch, Kenisha Dwyer-Powell, assured the young women that they can achieve their dreams despite what they believe may be limitations in their lives.

“Anything you want to be in life is up to you. Never ever give up,” she said.

The Manchester Youth Information Centre and the Ridgemount United Church will be partnering with the project by providing training space.

The programme is free to participants and they will be assisted with transportation cost, lunch and training material.

The beneficiaries of REAP 1 completed the programme between March and November 2016.

Guided by the outcome of the previous programme, Rhoden said that a shorter more intense programme is now in place to make it easier for participant retention and to facilitate employment in a more timely manner.

She said a day-care facility was noted among improvements being considered to accommodate mothers who have no choice but to take their child or children with them.

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