CSJP skills training gives graduates a second chance

A section of the graduating batch at the recent Citizen Security and Justice Programme Graduation Celebration 2020 at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Richie Mothersill is a 27-year-old ex-gang member, who spent 7 years in prison. But now he has turned his back on crime and is a proud graduate with a level II certificate in air-conditioning and refrigeration.

He is also employed one of the country’s most successful appliance companies.

Mothersill was among a group of 295 men and women from various inner-city communities across Kingston and St Andrew who completed level II and III skills training courses in various areas as well as pre-vocational skills under the CSJP through Operation Friendship.

Richie Mothersill, collecting his certificate from Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Instructor at Operation Pride, Terrence Lynn.

Some 356 participants completed courses in housekeeping, allied health, food preparation, electrical installation, air conditioning and refrigeration, welding, plumbing general construction, and bartending as well as pre-vocational skills out of a cohort of 432.

The young man, whose moving and inspirational testimony evoked a wave of mixed emotions from the audience, who attended the CSJP graduation ceremony at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston earlier this month.

“I am a technician; I am installing air-condition units; I am installing water heaters; and I am installing jet pumps. I am a technician – a real technician,” he stated.

“While I was in prison it wasn’t an easy task for me. It is something I can’t take out my head, but what bring me through is my daughter. My daughter was born on the 19th of January and I get held on the 27th of January. So while I was in there [prison], she was the light of my heart; she bring me through,” he shared.

High praises for facilitators

Trishanna Williams, a 24-year-old single mother defied expectations and successfully completed a level III course in electrical installation.

“I was told that electrical installation was a man’s world and that I would not make it. But with courage and willpower and with my family and son as my motivation, I set out with much effort to prove them wrong,” she shared.

Programme Manager at the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, Orville Simmonds (right); and Chairman of Operation Friendship, Reverend Webster Edwards (second right), speaking with three of the graduates.

Stephen Ennis, another CSJP graduate who landed a job at JPS, had high praises for the programme and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the facilitators and instructors who provided them with non-stop motivation and support throughout their journey.