Youth parliamentarians impacting Jamaica
Last week Monday was the close of the National Youth Parliament of Jamaica (NYPJ), which featured energetic speeches from our youth about important issues that currently plague the nation. A part of the mandate of the NJPJ is to provide youth the opportunity to serve in their various constituencies. Here is a synopsis of some of the projects executed across Jamaica by our youth parliamentarians which highlight their spirit of service to the nation.
Constituency: St James West Central
Being passionate about empowerment, Teadra Morris launched a programme to assist at-risk girls in her constituency. She provided two homes that housed wards of the State with monthly donations including over 1,500 canned food items, clothes, six fans, detergent products, mosquito repellents and zappers, and school supplies for 30 girls in September. The T’dra Young Women Support Foundation, which was born out of this initiative, provided workshops and mentorship sessions for youth in goal setting and inculcated the values of planning for success. Come Christmas, Morris, through her foundation, will be providing 30 girls with a wish come through by giving them a gift from their Christmas wish list.
Constituency: Kingston East and Port Royal
Volunteerism and advocacy are two of the principles that guide Blake Brown, which led him to launch the ‘You have a Voice’ initiative. Under this programme, Brown visited the Windward Road Primary School and spoke with grade-six students on the importance of acing their exams, preparing for high school and participation in civic responsibility. He went on to engage with community stakeholders, such as the Rockfort Police Youth Club, in order to deliver a comprehensive report on youth issues to his member of parliament. However, his most rewarding project was his Labour Day initiative in which he and his team assisted in the construction of a gazebo for the Norman Gardens Junior High School.
Constituency: St Mary Western
Possessing a burning passion for education, Sachique Williams, undertook a major drive to equip the youth in her constituency with the tools they would need in school. She donated two book grants to the top-performing boy and girl at Oracabessa and Jacks River primary schools. Her support also extended to providing assistance with the homework centre at the Geddes Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Church for primary and secondary students, and conducting community visits to the elderly in the Geddes Mountain Community.
Her ongoing project is with the Galina Basic School to help with infrastructural development and educational supplies.
Janique Watts, Hadyah Blake, Pete Bryan.
Constituency: St Andrew North Eastern
Health and wellness were the priority for Janique Watts, Hadyah Blake and Pete Bryan, who successfully organised two workshops in their constituency. Stakeholders, including Nestlé, participated in their seminar to help sensitise teachers in the constituency on the importance of nutrition and diet for children. The second leg of their programme was conducted on October 22 at the Elim Early Childhood Development Centre, where they hosted a workshop on children’s and parent advocacy.
Representatives from the Child Protective and Family Services Agency were present, signifying the social intervention aspect of their programme.
James Peart and Jhenelle Small
Constituency: Westmoreland Central
Security, both financial and personal were the priority for James Peart and Jhenelle Small. Between August 7 and 16, they hosted the First Responders Workshop at the Manning’s School. The workshop was geared towards providing youth with the opportunities needed for personal and professional development. Open to youth from across the parish, the workshop provided students the ability to gain knowledge and learn skills in first aid, financial wellness, conflict resolution, human trafficking and drugs in Jamaica. At the end of the workshop, all participants were successfully certified in first aid by the St John’s Ambulance and secured the necessary skills to become positive agents for change.