Children First Agency, which offers social, educational and training programmes for youngsters in the 10-24 age group while empowering their parents and guardians to overcome poverty and enhance daily life is celebrating 25 years.
Claudette Richardson- Pious, founder and executive director of Children First Agency is beaming with pride of the accomplishments over the last 25 years.
“I think in this struggling time in Jamaica, it is really good that Children First has managed to keep the doors open for 25 years. Our programmes and interventions have been impactful and some of the best students have emerged from our institution,” she said.
Children First is Jamaica’s largest programme of this type, offering social, educational, and training programmes for youngsters and parents and guardians to overcome poverty through successful skills training and small business projects.
The organisation has been recognised at home and abroad for its creative, participatory approach, which ensures its young clients full involvement including decision-making at the Board of Directors level.
Some of the life-changing projects include: Bashy Bus Kru, which provides sexual and reproductive health information services across the island to empower young people to make healthy life choices; an advocacy, literacy, and empowerment campaign aimed at reducing Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Jamaica. This project aims to impact, empower and re-socialize vulnerable young men through targeted interventions and skills training.
Other projects include: The Anti-Bullying Project, which aims to build the capacity of key stakeholders and caregivers to identify and respond to bullying and equip them as to how to reduce bullying in their environments.
Recent projects include the Spotlight Initiative, which is a global campaign launched in 2020 that aims to aid in the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.
“We are looking forward to another 25 years. This organisation is here to stay as we continue to impact the lives of the vulnerable,” said Mrs. Richardson-Pious.