Artistes join campaign to empower juvenile delinquents

August 21, 2017
Agent Sasco, aka Assassin.
Kaci Fennell

Entertainers and popular personalities have joined in as ambassadors for the 'Save a Child - Change a Nation' initiative under the Ministry of National Security and Department of Correctional Services' We Transform programme.

The initiative will see artistes like Agent Sasco and Jermaine Edwards mentoring children who are currently remanded in juvenile correctional facilities across the island. The aim of the programme is to help in the rehabilitation of the children in these correctional facilities with the hope that a change of mindset will influence them to make positive life choices.

When Jermaine Edwards spoke to The Star, he applauded the Ministry of National Security for starting such a programme stating that if mentoring young minds will help to curb the crime problem in Jamaica, it will be worth it.

"The Bible says that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind and this programme is all about initiating change so I'm happy to be a part of it," he said. "For many of these children growing up under certain circumstances is what caused them to make bad choices. Most of them don't want to be bad and just need someone to show them that there is another way."

"Most of these children just need attention, someone to listen and show them that they care. We have to take the time to listen to these children to try and find out where they went wrong and that way we can begin to fix the problem. We cannot fix something if we don't know what the problem is," Edwards said as he urged parents to pay more attention to their children. "We can prevent a lot of things from happening by just listening to people. If we can stop ten pickney from kill 500 people or raping or stealing by just listening, wouldn't it be worth it?"

Agent Sasco agreed.

"I am humbled and honoured to have been considered for such an initiative. I think it's critical that we all play whatever role we can in the development of our young people, our future," he said. Being a father, I understand that it (positively influencing the youth) takes real effort and commitment. I see the influence my involvement has had on my children and I hope I can help them (the children in the programme) to understand that they have their entire lives ahead of them and they are the ones who decide what life it will be regardless of what their present reality is."


Motivational sessions


In a release sent to The Star, Ella Ghartey, programmes manager for We Tranform, revealed that the ambassadors are supposed to make the juveniles know that their lives are important and will do so through several motivational sessions, interpersonal, educational and career development sessions, as well as special treats from corporate sponsors. She noted that upcoming activities are to include: a football competition for the boys; spa day and a cultural pageant for the girls.

Kaci Fennel, Shirley and Naomi Cowan, are also ambassadors in the programme, as well as 50 individuals from various Corporate entities across the island, who have agreed to volunteer their time as mentors.

We Transform is an empowerment and reintegration programme geared at building and developing opportunities for the 242 children, aged 12 to 17, who are currently remanded in the island's juvenile correctional facilities.

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