An intervention programme aimed at steering children from violence and avoiding reprisals for violent attacks has been launched in August Town, St Andrew, targeted mainly at children and parents.
Launched last Friday, the August Town Children Development Programme has committed to providing support to families which have been affected by gun violence, and is providing a starting stipend of $5,000 monthly per participating child until they find jobs.
Just over 40 parents have joined the programme, the majority of whom are women who have lost the father of their children to gun violence.
Two sets of children who are a part of the programme have lost both parents to gun violence.
Kenneth Wilson, August Town’s community liaison officer from the Ministry of Justice’s Restorative Justice Unit, explained that the programme aims to influence the narrative of these children, especially given that reprisal crime is driving the increase in violence in the community.
“This is a long-term programme. We do not want them to grow up and take revenge. Reprisal crime is one of the main challenges in August Town, and we want to shift them from that possibility,” Wilson said at the launch.