WE TRANSFORM programme receives $7.7 million endorsement from CHASE fund

The Ministry of National Security’s We Transform Programme, launched yesterday at the Police Officer’s Club in Kingston, received a JMD$7.7 million commitment from the CHASE fund.

The Programme, launched under the theme, ‘Save a Child, Change a Nation’, is being implemented through the Department of Correctional Services in four juvenile centres for the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth offenders.

Minister of National Security and keynote speaker, Hon. Robert Montague lauded the initiative as coming at a critical time when reform is needed in how the public treats with all offenders. “I salute Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. for his tenacity in making this programme possible.    The truth is we can punish criminals all we like, we can punish young offenders all we like but if we don't tackle the root causes of crime we will never have a safer society.”

Minister Montague said the programme is being implemented in two phases, with phase one to start immediately involving youth engaged in innovative training in academics, vocational education, and employability and life skills.

Phase two of the programme will have a Mentorship and Internship/Job Placement, an Annual Competition and an Exposition where youth can showcase and publicize their talents.

My Ministry believes that each of these youth deserves a second chance and we are committed to helping young offenders get back on the right side of the law and remain there,” the Minister emphasised.

The programme, conceptualised by State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Sen. Pearnel Charles Jr. has six components; Application of the Learning by Doing Technique, Mentorship and Internship/Job Placement, an Annual Competition and Exposition, promotion of a Healthy Lifestyle, Parent Engagement and Training and Staff Capacity Building.

Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. in his overview of the programme stated, “We want to change the public’s perception of juvenile offenders, build their self esteem and provide mentorship. We have to see beyond the politics and just occupying a title and a space. This is an opportunity to create change thereby establishing purposeful rehabilitation for successful reintegration.

The WE TRANSFORM programme also forms part of the Ministry’s five pillar crime reduction strategy focused on rehabilitation and redemption.

          The sustainability of the programme is based on a partnership approach involving the private sector, individuals and interest groups. These include the Organisation of American States, USAID, Tastee, JPS, Creative Media and Events, Hawkeye, JMMB, Operation Save Jamaica, Hylton Powell Attorneys at Law, Caribbean Industrial Systems, Dot Creative Design and Photographs and Famfun Entertainment.

Other events to be held as part of the programme include aCompetition and Exposition on July 26, 2017, Mentorship Day for males on November 4, 2017 and Mentorship Day for girls on November 25, 2017.