As hundreds of children complete summer camps, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has come in for high praise for its financial support and contributions to programmes which were mainly remedial, rehabilitative and educational.
The bank helped to offset the costs of six summer camps in Kingston and St Mary, over the past two months.
Managing director Nigel Holness said that while summer camps often focus mainly on fun and frolic, the bank took a conscious decision to support those dedicated to child development and, where necessary, rehabilitation.
“We believe that these programmes go a long way in swaying youth from a path of delinquency or violent behaviour, and can ultimately help in crime prevention,” he said.
Vanessa Jones, acting assistant superintendent of the Department of Correctional Services, said that their camp for male juveniles 12-17 years at the Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Centre was a great success.
She explained that the camp, which catered for the group who have come into conflict with the law, focused on varying activities including behaviour modification and successful reintegration in society.
Jones said that, in addition, between July 16 and August 17, 2018, the camp incorporated a domino week, mentorship week, life skills week and movie week and “through the generosity of CIBC FirstCaribbean we were able to offer meals and refreshment too”.
Ann Astwood, programmes manager of the Multicare Youth Foundation, was also thankful to CIBC FirstCaribbean for funding assistance to its camp for vulnerable youth. The foundation hosted four camps for approximately 350 at-risk boys and girls from Kingston inner-city communities and the bank’s contribution helped fund some of the attendees.
Astwood said that the camps “provided a temporary safe haven away from their violence-torn communities, and facilitated their participation in good, clean, wholesome activities, while also promoting positive interpersonal relationships and healthy lifestyle choices”.
Among the other camps CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank supported were Fellowship Tabernacle’s ‘Love Revolution’ for youth 13-19, which took place August 26-31 in Moorlands, Manchester. According to Pastor Kavan Allen, youth pastor, the activities of the 2018 summer camp “are intended to foster the holistic development of participants and specifically to broaden their capacity to understand, embrace and demonstrate love — even in a loveless environment”.
Noting that the bank also contributed to the church’s 2017 camp, Pastor Allen said “the results have shown that a number of youth experienced positive transformation. Some have returned to school, others became employable, while others have shown a new heightened commitment to live by the principle of the word of God”.
Also benefiting from CIBC FirstCaribbean’s assistance were Emmanuel Apostolic Church’s summer camp, which took place from August 13-17, 2018 and catered to over 200 children from Cross Roads, Allman Town, Jones Town, Craig Town, Torrington Park, Arnett Gardens and downtown Kingston; First Missionary Church’s annual Vacation Bible School, from July 9-13 for four- to 19 year olds in Central Kingston; and the St Andrew South Community Safety & Security Branch Summer Camp hosted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force Southern Division, from August 17-27 in St Mary.
The latter targeted “troubled and traumatised” students from five high schools within the St Andrew Division. The St Andrew South Community & Safety Branch, along with the deans of discipline of the schools, selected 20 students from each to participate in the camp at the Tapioca Retreat & Village in St Mary.
In addition, students aged 10-17 from the communities of Majesty Gardens, Olympic Gardens and Whitfield Town were also selected to be a part of the programme.
As a follow-up, the St Andrew South Community Safety & Security Branch reported that it will be implementing a mentorship programme within the schools to help monitor the students and help with the transformation of the young minds.