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Young Men Urged to Use COVID-19 to Educate and Create

The economic fallout as a result of COVID-19, has left many people jobless and is affecting the ability of men living in inner-city communities who are constrained from their daily ‘hustle’ to provide for their families and loved ones.


Jerome Jackson, acting chairman of the Community Development Council and Benevolent

Society in August Town is advising these men to tap into their cultural talents to generate a

steady income for themselves to provide for their families.


“I would encourage young men at this time who are not occupied to occupy themselves by being creative, innovative and educate themselves,” suggested Mr. Jackson as he pointed out that access to the internet provides opportunities that can be explored to earn an income. He also highlighted that the cultural industry is a multibillion dollar sector.


Mr. Jackson gave the advice while participating in the Violence Prevention Alliance’s (VPA)

online discussion entitled, ‘Peace in the Pandemic’, recently where he was a member of a panel.


The discussion was focused on how persons are coping with the spread of the coronavirus

(COVID-19) as well as sharing positive initiatives locally that are working throughout the

worldwide pandemic with regard to conflict resolution.


He encouraged the older men in these communities to try to mentor the young boys and men as he pointed out that there is a disconnect in the communities between the elders and the youngsters.


“Now is the opportune time for the elders to be called upon for their knowledge and wisdom and become the teachers for the younger generation. There are many lessons to be learnt from the elders in how to build a community,” he enlightened.


Meanwhile, Dr. Dave Hazle, lecturer in pastoral counseling and psychology at the United

Technology College of the West Indies underscored that the economic fallout has impacted

negatively on the males who are the bread winner in the families.


“One of the concerns is that men who have been laid off and having to be at home, not earning and there are increase demands at home and so the challenge of feeling like they are the provider when they are unable to provide and because of the unpredictability of the pandemic, there has been anxiety in some men,” he shared.


Dr Hazle however suggested that men should use the time to bond with their families and

recommended that starting a back yard garden is also an activity that can be done to help families cope in the pandemic.


The discussion was held under the theme, ‘Conversations with Men: Coping Through COVID-19’. The other sessions of the series examined the following topics: how women are coping during the pandemic; coping mechanics for children in COVID-19 and community engagement and protecting vulnerable children.

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Violence Prevention Alliance| Institute for Sustainable Development|3 Gibraltar Camp Way|

UWI, Mona| Kingston 7|Tele/fax: 702-2079| www.childresiliency.org www.vpajamaica.com;

May 25, 2020




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