Jamaica Gleaner / The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III has thrown its support behind an innovative new programme being piloted in the August Town community in St Andrew that focuses on using sporting tools and techniques to mentor at-risk youth.
The initiative, dubbed project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development), kicked off earlier this month. It uses sports for development methodology and techniques from cricket, football, netball and track and field to engage a selection of youth from the community.
In addition to financial support, which covers training material, stationery, gears and promotional items to be used in the workshops, the CSJP III is also providing its expertise in a number of critical areas to Project GOLD.
This includes guidance through its community case management team, social marketing team, psychological services unit, and its monitoring and evaluation team, which will provide support in assessing the impact of the pilot and determine how it can be improved for a full roll-out in other communities.
Communications and social marketing coordinator with CSJP III, Patrice Nephew, hailed the initiative as well needed and gave kudos to the athletes who have “committed to going the extra mile” in supporting the programme.
She noted that CSJP III has administered similar pro-grammes, such as its Goals for Life initiative, which she said has been successful in breaking down social barriers in vulnerable communities.
Project GOLD is the brain-child of former national netball captain Simone Forbes, who has collaborated with track and field star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; cricketer Chris Gayle; and former national football player Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner to implement the project.
Project GOLD will help participants who are between 11 and 17 years old to set goals and learn how to commit to them. It will also provide family life and parenting skills, and entrepreneurship training for at least 15 parents and caregivers of the participants.