December 4, 2019 | Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica | Byron Buckley/NCU/IAD
Jamaica’s National Security Minister Horace Chang has commended Seventh-day Adventist-operated Northern Caribbean University (NCU) for providing at-risk youth with the opportunity to pursue tertiary education through its RESCUE program.
Launched three years ago, the program, Restoring Every Student’s Confidence Using Education (RESCUE), has since then spent more than $800,000 dollars to assist 75 students including former gang members, scammers, sexually abused girls and orphans.
Addressing a recent conference on religion and crime prevention at NCU, Chang described the RESCUE program as “outstanding” and deserving of the collaboration and support of the Ministry of National Security in resolving some of the societal issues impacting crime.
He noted that the government was in the process of reformulating the way in which ministries, departments and agencies carry out social intervention activities in the communities. “It is not sufficient to just design projects that we think are necessary for the people in these communities,” Chang told the gathering at NCU Mandeville campus on Nov. 26, 2019.
“We must and will operate collectively in guaranteeing the social benefits and entitlements of these citizens. We must and will also engage community stakeholders, like the church, to partner in developing sustainable, relevant initiatives in these communities,” added Chang.
The national security minister called on faith based organizations to recognize their value and potential in being agents of change, able to prevent and suppress criminal behavior. “We are inviting these organizations to partner with the Government in the fight against crime and criminality,” he said.