Persons Living With HIVAIDS Encouraged to Join Support Groups

Story Highlights “We created a programme called ‘The Positive Health Dignity and Prevention Curriculum’, and we use it to train persons who are now serving at different levels in the HIV response,” he said, adding that some are working as community facilitators, and others are representing their communities on various Boards. Persons living with HIV/AIDS are being encouraged to participate in support groups that are working towards reducing the level of stigmatisation against persons with the virus, in an effort to ultimately improve their outcomes. The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS Coordinator at the National Family Planning Board, Ainsley Reid, told JIS News that a number of initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that persons who are living with HIV are not disenfranchised. Persons living with HIV/AIDS are being encouraged to participate in support groups that are working towards reducing the level of stigmatisation against persons with the virus, in an effort to ultimately improve their outcomes.The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS Coordinator at the National Family Planning Board, Ainsley Reid, told JIS News that a number of initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that persons who are living with HIV are not disenfranchised.“We created a programme called ‘The Positive Health Dignity and Prevention Curriculum’, and we use it to train persons who are now serving at different levels in the HIV response,” he said, adding that some are working as community facilitators, and others are representing their communities on various Boards.Mr. Reid said that his team also works closely with other agencies. “We are currently partnering with the Jamaica Council of Churches to roll out an anti-stigma programme which will deal with building the capacity of church leaders and congregants, so that they can be agents of change in their communities,” he said.Additionally, he said there is an ongoing programme with the Social Development Commission (SDC) where general community leaders are trained to influence conversations around social acceptance and working with people living with HIV.The Coordinator also shared that “another aspect of that programme is our work with the Office of the Public Defender to create more awareness around human rights and to influence how we treat each other from a position of dignity and respect”.Community Facilitator for the Jamaica Network for Zero Positive (JN Plus) South East Division (Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas), Joan Stephen, also told JIS News that her organisation plays a vital role in addressing stigma and discrimination as well.“I communicate with persons in the region who are HIV positive. I use a database to check up on members to see how they are doing and if there are any issues, and I pass the information on to the relevant authorities to deal with it,” she said.She noted that her team looks at how persons are treated when they go to the clinic.“Many of them are put aside when they go there because they are HIV positive. They always complain that if they go to certain health centres, the doors are labeled so when they go in, other individuals know that they are HIV positive,” she explained.She added that JN Plus has capacity-building programmes where persons living with HIV are invited to come in and participate and share with others who are HIV positive.In that space they are comfortable and it helps them to learn to deal with stigma from each other, based on their experiences. read more

Persons Trained Under Alternative Livelihood Skills Programme Of JSIF

Story Highlights On September 12, they were presented with their certificates at a graduation ceremony for the CAC 2000 Foundation/Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Air Conditioning Technicians Training Programme, held at the AC Hotel, in Kingston. The new technicians hail from Barrett Town, in St James; Ellerslie Pen, in St. Catherine; and Rema, Denham Town, Maxfield Park, Rose Town, Tivoli Gardens, Hannah Town, Majesty Gardens and Greenwich Town, in Kingston. Seventy-two persons from 10 communities in three parishes have been trained in air-condition installation and maintenance, and certified, under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Alternative Livelihood Skills Programme (ALSP). Seventy-two persons from 10 communities in three parishes have been trained in air-condition installation and maintenance, and certified, under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Alternative Livelihood Skills Programme (ALSP).The new technicians hail from Barrett Town, in St James; Ellerslie Pen, in St. Catherine; and Rema, Denham Town, Maxfield Park, Rose Town, Tivoli Gardens, Hannah Town, Majesty Gardens and Greenwich Town, in Kingston.On September 12, they were presented with their certificates at a graduation ceremony for the CAC 2000 Foundation/Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Air Conditioning Technicians Training Programme, held at the AC Hotel, in Kingston.The graduates also received a tool kit and a one-year subscription for an online course in air conditioning.The group, which included three females, completed the six-month course in seven different batches from July 2018 to July 2019. The training included a theoretical component that highlighted the basic understanding of air conditioning and repairs, and practical components, to gain hands-on experience in the industry.In his address at the ceremony, Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the ALSP targets close to 6,000 youth in 18 underserved communities across seven parishes and provides training in different areas, including film and digital animation.He emphasised that training is offered in skills that are in demand, and that the programme is an alternative to assist at-risk youth.The Managing Director noted that when the registration is being done in communities, many young persons opt not to participate, as they are waiting to see the benefits of the training.“My simple message to you (graduates) is that you represent the hope for the youth who never came and sign up that morning. It is important that you do well and that is why we are prepared to continue to invest in you,” he said.“This is not the end of your training, this is mere step along the way,” Mr. Sweeney told them.For her part, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC 2000 Foundation, Gina Abraham, said one of the main objectives of CAC 2000 Limited is to find a way to give back to at-risk youth in Jamaica and to children with disabilities, in the area of education.“The road to today has not been an easy one for many of us. However, we have persevered because of our belief that our youth have so much more to offer Jamaica when given the right opportunity,” she said.She congratulated the graduates and urged them to “always remember that each day is a gift from above. So, make the most of it and never give up on your dreams.”The top male performer, 24-year-old Javan Williams, during his testimonial, told the gathering that he signed up for the training after he dropped out of the University of the West Indies after experiencing seveve difficulties.He expressed gratitude, on behalf of his fellow graduates, to the instructors who were very patient with them.“I must say thanks to JSIF, as well as the CAC Foundation which facilitated us throughout the entire programme,” Mr. Williams said. read more

Normality Expected to Return to Schools Today

Story Highlights Regular classes are expected to resume tomorrow, September 25, following the return of public transportation in the Kingston and St. Andrew Metropolitan area and sections of St Catherine served by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC). Regular classes are expected to resume today, September 25, following the return of public transportation in the Kingston and St. Andrew Metropolitan area and sections of St Catherine served by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).The Ministry of Education is advising that based on discussions with the JUTC and the police schools can resume regular classes.At the same time, parents and guardians as well as school administrators are being urged to monitor the news media for any developments, which could have an adverse impact on classes being held or which may affect the safety of their children.Parents are being urged to enforce the need for children to remain focused and pay attention to their immediate surroundings at all times.The Ministry will continue to monitor the present situation and advise as necessary. The Ministry of Education is advising that based on discussions with the JUTC and the police schools can resume regular classes. At the same time, parents and guardians as well as school administrators are being urged to monitor the news media for any developments, which could have an adverse impact on classes being held or which may affect the safety of their children. read more