‘Fi Wi Jamaica’ Partners with Tertiary Institutions in the West

Project Director of ‘Fi Wi Jamaica’, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, says the partnership between the group and tertiary institutions in western Jamaica forms part of a drive to address the social ills that have been affecting St. James.

She explained that this should be achieved through a series of interventions that will be carried out in the parish.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ in Montego Bay, yesterday (November 21), Professor Hamilton said western Jamaica in general, and St. James in particular, have been grappling with a number of negative issues, and through Fi Wi Jamaica, the hope is that ways will be found to address them.

She said tertiary-level students are very influential in their respective fields and communities and they are being asked to play a major role in reaching out to citizens who may be involved in, or affected by, antisocial activities.

“Over the years, we have seen challenges of violence, intolerance, discrimination and gender-based violence. More and more citizens are not going to citizen association meetings, and parents are not engaging with schools, so through our tertiary-level students, we hope to bridge that gap,” Professor Hamilton said.

She pointed out that the Fi WI Jamaica campaign for a peaceful Jamaica has resulted in the staging of more than 40 community meetings across the country, including St. James communities.

“I think Jamaica is looking on western Jamaica, St. James in particular, and thinking (that) it can happen in our communities, so we have to put all our resources together, partnering with the Government in terms of what it will take in ensuring that the problems being faced in St. James can be addressed,” Professor Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, she noted that follow-up activities for a number of the sessions that are being held in St. James will continue for at least one year.

She said follow-up actions will involve a number of government entities, including the Ministry of National Security; the Peace Management Initiative; and the St. James Inter-Agency Network, which consists of some 40 public- and private-sector organisations.

“These are the agencies on the front line of the problems in St. James and they have a plan. They are trying to transform and touch the lives of 3,500 men in crisis in Montego Bay. We think that the support through our project and the tertiary institutions is important in measuring and assessing the interventions over time, to ensure that they can be lasting and sustainable,” Professor Hamilton said.

Fi Wi Jamaica is a three-year social intervention initiative which seeks to build a sense of responsibility among Jamaicans. A town hall meeting is planned for the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Wednesday, November 23.


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