August 13, 2010
JEMS completes youth vacation programme

Positive attitudes, high energy and abundant creativity filled the Enhams Community Centre for four days, August 3 – 6, when 37 young people from 10 Southeast villages packed the second floor Lion’s Den for the JEMS Youth Vacation Programme.{{more}}

Under the umbrella theme “Empowering Young Minds for a Healthy, Productive and Sustainable Future,” the young people aged 12 to 21 explored an array of self-awareness and empowerment skills through interactive and participatory workshops, drama, creative hands-on activities, environmental education and an environmental tour at the Montreal Gardens.

A primary goal of the four-day vacation programme was to “inspire attendees not only to take care of the environment, but of themselves,” stated JEMS President Rhonda Lee in her opening remarks.

The programme brought together a strong panel of presenters including Pastor Caldon Charles, Climate Change Specialist Ottis Joslyn, Samuel Harry of the Forestry Division’s Educational Unit, Planned Parenthood’s Naomi Prince, West St. George Secondary School Counselor Jennifer Marshall, Drama Instructor Yohance Gibson, and Rosita Snagg, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development.

Presenters led workshop participants through a broad spectrum of skills including identifying important life influencers, maintaining healthy lifestyles, team building, raising self-esteem, communicating through drama, understanding the implications of climate change and protecting the environment.

Participants found benefits to the four-day workshop beyond the educational sessions and planned activities. “It’s been fun getting to know students from other schools,” remarked Jessica McDowald of the St. Clair Dacon Secondary School, one of a dozen schools represented among the workshop participants. Enhams resident Calvon Charles said he enjoyed hearing from others, being able to discuss situations and scenarios, and comparing differences in opinion based on gender.

The four-day event was sponsored by the Community Development Division and GEF Small Grants Programme.