Energized bodies walked briskly through the gates, uncertain feet dragged along, vehicles drove in and the signs beside mounted tents announced that something big was about to happen. The usually quiet promises at 7-9 Trenton Road was buzzing on Friday May 16, 2014. It was the Official Opening of the Clarendon Youth Information Centre.
Rev. Gino Jennings urged the youngsters to love and respect themselves and each other and reminded the young men that they should only touch young women who were their wives. His stirring words were well received by the chuckling audience before he proceeded to bless the facilities.
Aldo Brown and Dr. Walter Leavell heralded the genesis that would take place through the implementation of the YIC. The Hon. Lisa Hanna and Hon. Lester “Mike” Henry, spoke to the importance of the centre, “especially in a rural parish where streets have no signs or formal names and people are known by aliases” in getting youth empowered.
Just about 300 young persons and dignitaries were represented at the opening. Youth clubs represented well, as 21 youth clubs from 6 Developmental Areas throughout the parish were in attendance. They were eager to know what the centre was about.
Since then, every young person we encountered had the same questions, “What is exactly you do at the centre?”, “Can you employ me?”, “What services do you guys offer?”
No worries, we’ve got you covered. The Clarendon Youth Information Centre adheres to the NCYD’s core thematic areas of Employment, Education, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment and Health. We do not employ persons, but we refer them to possible places of employment and we also aid them in becoming more employable in terms of resume writing and learning life skills.
In terms of Education, we share scholarship and educational sponsorship opportunities and even assist in completion of these forms. We also refer interested persons to Vocational Institutions to improve on literacy as well as to learn skills. We also teach basic information technology to our users who aren’t so technologically savvy.
We cater to the physical and mental health here at the centre, as we offer counselling services and we have programmes targeting sexual and reproductive health issues.
We know that the job climate is harsh, which is why we encourage Entrepreneurship. Our Entrepreneurship Helpdesk runs a workshop once per month to give information on how to start, fund and maintain your business.
Empowerment and participation is a big part of our mandate, so we host empowerment sessions once a week on topics of interest to young people, packed with games and interactive activities.
We have all these services and more to offer. We are ready and we are open. Why not come in and check us out?