The NHT continues to facilitate community development as well as environmental protection and awareness through a number of activities across the island. An NHT sponsored environmental club is recipient of a UNEP Environmental Awareness Prize, while the NHT through these clubs is also assisting to improve green spaces, clean up coastal spaces and assist with back to school supplies.
Additionally, the NHT continues to empower residents of NHT communities through training, behaviour change projects as well as through back yard gardening.
NHT CLUB WINS ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS PRIZE
A cash prize of US$750 was awarded to the Esher Environment and Youth Club, at the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Awards ceremony held on Friday, September 27, 2011. The Club which is sponsored by the NHT’s Social Development Department, was among the top three winners produced collages which depicted the theme, “Land based sources of pollution”: Join hands to protect our Caribbean Sea.”The NHT’s Social Development Department was commended for its efforts, by UNEP’s head of education and promotions, Mrs. Tess Cieux, as Jamaica submitted the greatest number of entries to the competition, through the NHT. Other entrants came from other Caribbean as well as South American Countries.
Picture of the winning National Collage which placed 2nd in the region at the recently held UNEP Regional Collage Competition.
TEN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS HELP CLEAN UP COASTLINE
Other NHT sponsored environment clubs participated in a Beach Clean Up on September 17, 2011, organized by the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET). The following environment clubs participated in the cleaning of the Palisadoes Beach: Delacree Park; Caribbean Palms; Palm Grove Courts; Cooreville; Golden Heights; Portmore Pines; Hellshire Park; Golden Heights; Kings Heights and Monaltrie.
LITTLE BUT TALLAWAH FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Recently, environmental clubs were invited by the NHT’s Social Development Department to submit proposals for the development of green spaces in NHT communities, under the “Little But Tallawah” Project Call. Each successful project per parish was awarded $100,000 for the development of a relevant green space. Among the communities which were successful were: Claremont – St. Catherine; Woodstock – St. Mary; Boscobel – St. Ann; Delacree Park –Kingston; Palmetto Meadows –Clarendon and Waterworks –Westmoreland. These grants should go a far way in developing communities.
Also as part of its community development mandate, the Social Development Department invited applications from members of NHT environmental clubs for book grants between August to September 2011. Applicants had to meet the criteria of having at least a B+ average on their last academic report. The grants which were given in time to assist with school supplies for the new school year, were valued at $10,000 each, and one club member each from five (5) parishes were awarded a grant making the allocation a total of $50,000.
NHT EMPOWERS LOW INCOME RESIDENTS
Apart from grants, community residents are being empowered through training. Fifty persons from a number of parishes, who are facing mortgage arrears, are being trained for employment opportunities through the NHT’s Social Development Department. Ten persons will pursue Food Preparation at St. Peter Claver in the Corporate Area, while nine others will be trained in sewing and will receive sewing machines on successful completion of the course. The Spring Village Foundation will train another seven persons from St. Catherine communities in Food Preparation. Additionally, 27 persons who reside in the Inner City Housing Project schemes will attend CXC as well as skills training classes at the St. Andrew Technical High School. At the Portmore Heart Academy, one person will be trained in Tourism, while another will pursue Food Processing. Over in the parish of St. James, one person will be trained in Restaurant Services at the Western Youth Enhancement Services, another will do Practical Nursing at the Central Academy, while still another person will pursue Housekeeping at the Flankers Resource Centre.
NHT ENCOURAGES MUSIC FOR BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
Other training organised by the NHT’s Social Development Department includes training for behaviour change. The first of a six month series of behaviour modification workshops using music was recently concluded. The workshops included discussions, role plays, video presentations, sharing among groups and dealt with important issues such as building self confidence. Following consultations with residents of the Providence Heights Citizens Association in St. James, a number of strategies to improve the programme will be pursued and these include setting up a parents’ group, a homework project, a dance project and the hosting of a musical event. These improvements should not only increase the number of participants in the behaviour change programme, but show the relevance of the programme to community residents, in addition to its potential benefits.
BACK YARD GARDENING PROJECT
Residents of the Llandillo Community and its environs attended a back yard gardening workshop on September 14, 2011. The workshop was conducted by the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA).The FAO has promised further training for the community residents in Hydroponics, and someone has promised to donate a water tank as a permanent water source to the project.
CALL CENTRE NOW OFFERING LIVE HELP VIA THE NHT WEBSITE
The NHT now offers a Live Help Support system which takes the format of a web chat with its team of Customer Care agents. Live support can be accessed via the NHT corporate website during office opening hours by users locally as well as those overseas.
For more information about this and other NHT activities and programmes, visit our website at www.nht.gov.jm