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Citizens for the Advancement of Community Development (CACD) – a local non-profit organization operating in Mississauga – has initiated a fund-raising campaign to help build a lasting framework for change in Jamaica.
CACD is planning a trip to some of the island’s most at-risk neighbourhoods, including problematic areas like Trench Town and inner city communities in Montego Bay, taking 12 motivated and driven young leaders to offer programming that includes healthy living, life skills, counselling, parenting, employment skills, entrepreneurship and money management.
More importantly, said leaders will instruct Jamaican teachers on how to provide such programming, so that Jamaican children will be able to benefit from said activities long after the trip has ended.
CACD Executive Director, Ron Cunningham, who is organizing the trip, noted that “Our framework will encompass a broad range of topics that will sow the seeds of a new generation of healthy, well-rounded and upwardly mobile Jamaicans. This will begin a domino effect, where the Jamaican youth will adopt a sense of civic responsibility, and develop leadership capabilities.”
The organization is also going to bring an Ontario police officer to instruct the local law enforcers on the Canadian Community Policing model, teaching them new techniques and a new approach that will help to foster positive relationships with the police in these troubled communities, hopefully limiting gang activities.
CACD will deploy teams of local GTA students in schools and community organizations, to work with Jamaican youth on music, dance, and video projects, to empower and bring awareness of how Canadian youth use these art forms to validate and express their views on such topics as urban violence and peace building efforts.
As Ron has often said, his main dream for Jamaica is to develop a community/educational centre, situated in proximity to schools, police facilities, health clinics and other fundamental structural organizations, which will provide close linkage and coordination of services and support that address community-identified needs and goals.
The model centre Ron proposes, will focus particularly (but not exclusively) on the involvement of youth in leadership activities and campaigns for the betterment of the community, and the Jamaican society at large.
This multi-faceted centre, he pointed out, is intended to represent “an important new ‘sun’ on the Jamaican horizon, a ball of light and energy that enables the Jamaican people to grow, flourish and shine.”
Source: The Western Mirror
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