Just under 600 residents of the Westmoreland community of Russia and adjoining areas benefited from Wednesday’s Opportunities and Information Fair staged by the Citizen’s Security and Justice Programme, (CSJP), at the Hudson Street Early Childhood Education Centre yesterday, August 26th.
The fair offered residents an opportunity to register for PATH benefits, sign up for their National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card as well as their Taxpayer Registration Number, TRN and also to apply for birth certificates.
At the end of a marathon project, over 400 residents applied for birth certificates through the Registrar General’s Department, RGD, 16 registered for their NIS card while a further 50 signed up for a TRN. In addition to those services, residents were also afforded blood pressure and stress tests…an offer which was taken up by over 70 residents.
According to one resident “This is the best back to school gift I could get as some of my children needed their birth certificates and through the CSJP I have applied for seven certificates, including mine. I also signed up for my NIS card while my neighbour registered for PATH benefit…all no cost to me. Thank you CSJP”.
In commenting on the day’s activity, CSJP’s Administrator for it’s Western Jamaica offices, Garfield McGhie said “We at CSJP are happy that we were able to offer these services to the residents of Russia…one of our focus communities. The need for the services is great here, and could not all be supplied in one day, but we took care of a major portion”.
According to Mr. McGhie, “CSJP and its stakeholders will now make an assessment of the project following which major decisions will be taken regarding the staging of more fairs of this nature in other communities, or even back in Russia to ensure that we address the needs of the people. The day’s activities went and we think based on the feedback from the residents, they were happy”.
The fair got significant support from volunteers from the Peace Management Initiative, PMI, the Social Development Commission, SDC and residents of the Russia community.