KINGSTON, Sept. 1 (JIS): The country’s young people are being encouraged to get involved in police youth clubs in order to bring about meaningful change in their lives and contribute to the progress of their communities.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh, says the clubs serve a positive purpose, by impacting the communities of which they are a part, while also developing the leadership skills of members.
“They help to harness young talent, with emphasis on leadership capabilities, social entrepreneurship and the adoption of a culture of lawfulness. Accountability and action is reinforced with participants being shown that individually, they can make a difference but collectively, the reach is far greater,” he tells JIS News.
There are 543 registered police youth clubs across the island, however, 30 per cent of them have become dormant due to falloff in membership, as persons migrate, pursue higher education or work, or they simply lose interest due to lack of effective programmes to keep them engaged.
Over the years, the clubs, located in the island’s 19 police divisions have been a conduit through which the JCF moulds and provides a positive influence on the young people of this country, instilling discipline, responsibility and respect for law and order, in order to steer them away from a life of crime.
In fact, many of the members have gone on to become members of the police force.
The clubs have successfully identified and developed the competencies of the youth and they contribute to their communities through engagement in activities such as caring for the elderly, adopting and improving basic schools, and hosting and engaging in sporting events.
The entrepreneurial skills of the members are also harnessed through engagement in small or micro business enterprises.
In Clarendon, for example, police youth clubs have been assisted with start-up businesses in order to become more self-sufficient.
With kind assistance from the Custos of the parish, Hon. William Shagoury, several clubs have received chickens and pigs to embark on income generating ventures.
“We try and help by giving them some layers. They (club members) would be ready to start making money within a month and a half. We give them the feed, the (feeding) pans and a lesson in taking care of the chickens. They build the coops and once the chickens start laying they are able to make a start,” he tells JIS News.
Mr. Shagoury says the programme started eight years ago and some clubs have been doing well.
One of the outstanding features of the police youth clubs is that they help to bridge the gap between the police and citizens. As the police works with the youngsters in the communities, hostilities are reduced, and trust is built, which goes a far way in addressing crime and violence.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Cornwall “Bigga” Ford, tells JIS News that the revival of clubs in the West Kingston division, which he heads, is bringing about positive change in the communities where they operate.
Since SSP Ford took over the reins in April, the Denham Town, Admiral Town, Trench Town and Rose Town police youth clubs have been revitalised.
SSP Ford says he feels encouraged by the re-organisation of the clubs. “Since I’ve been there I have revived all of them. We are getting membership and we have identified police leaders. I am enthused. There are a lot of young people with high quality leadership skills,” he tells JIS News.
“They are helping to pull in other young people. They have worked in the stations and they served as counsellors in the summer youth camps so there is an impact,” he adds.
SSP Ford notes that the clubs, which promote positive inclusion and meaningful engagement for the young people go a far way in eradicating the “informer” label, which prohibits meaningful, trustworthy relationships between citizens and police.
He says that the police, working with youth club leaders in community development initiatives and sporting activities such as football, has resulted in the retention of club membership.
“We have a five-a-side internal competition for the police and we allow the youth clubs to insert two teams in it. They are one of the finalists in that. We do not treat them differently. We are trying all kinds of things,” he notes.
A book drive for back-to-school was also initiated, he informs.
SSP Ford says he plans on engaging the business community to provide much-needed equipment and resources for the survival of the clubs.
Meanwhile, as it relates to the inactive clubs, SSP Karina Powell-Hood, who is attached to the CSSB Branch, tells JIS News that an assessment will be carried out to determine whether they can be revived.
She says to remain active, clubs need to put programmes in place that are dynamic and can keep members engaged.
She notes that young people tend to gravitate to organisations that involve activities such as sports.
Misick announces Longer terms in Office, Bi-Partisan Constitutional Changes
#TurksandCaicos, February 19, 2024 – Magnetic Media SOTS23 COVERAGE: Premier WASHINGTON MISICK announced that there is bi-partisan agreement on the CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES which the people of the Turks and Caicos can expect including a FIVE YEAR term for the elected Government.
The House of Assembly will finally leave the HJ Robinson High Auditorium to return home at the NJS Francis building and when it does, it will be called a PARLIAMENT with only ELECTED MEMBERS; (as reported) ending the four year term and ending the APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS for a truly democratic composition of the house of representatives.
The State of the State Address, a creation of the Progressive National Party Administration, was carried live from Yellow Man and Sons Auditorium in Grand Turk, tonight February 19 which is also the three-year anniversary of the Misick-led government.
#TCIPremier #WashingtonMisick #SOTS2023 #TurksandCaicosParliament #tcinews
How to protect against HIV
#TurksandCaicos, February 15, 2024 – HIV/AIDS has killed more than 40 million people globally since it first appeared in the human population in 1959 according to the World Health Organization WHO and even though there are effective treatments there is no cure making prevention practices a top priority for vulnerable groups.
In recent months claims have emerged of rising cases locally creating concern in some Turks and Caicos residents. The Ministry of Health has remained silent on the issue and has not published relevant statistics despite repeated queries from Magnetic Media.
Given the continued presence of the virus, individuals are still at risk from infection. In fact the WHO says in 2022, when 630,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.3 million people acquired HIV.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus behind AIDS, the most advanced form of HIV.
The virus spreads through the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food.
With this in mind there are several steps that residents can take to protect themselves including
- Using condoms during sex
- Limiting sexual partners
- Being tested regularly
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- Using personal protective gear when dealing with bodily fluids
Vulnerable populations can be administered Pre Exposure Prophylaxis which work to prevent infection and Post Exposure Prophylaxis which can prevent the virus from taking hold.
An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. In 2024 HIV can be treated and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). These drugs strengthen the immune system which HIV weakens significantly.
Still the WHO encourages residents to take preventative action.
CARPHA: Take Action to Avoid the Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust
February 16, 2024 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to protect themselves against adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume, which has covered many parts of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a Dust Bulletin dated February 9th, 2024 stated, “it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines” as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA, explained “Saharan dust worsens air quality and increases the levels of particulate matter in the air. This can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases”. Dr St John added, “Saharan dust can also worsen the health symptoms of those who suffer from asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.
In light of the poor air quality levels, CARPHA is encouraging persons to take steps to avoid the harmful effects of Saharan dust. These include:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
- Utilise a HEPA filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
- Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
- At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
- For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms
For more information, please see excerpts from the attached CIMH Dust Bulletin.
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