How can I build my community?

Wennentta Hall (left) looks on as Beverly Griffiths (right), a member of the Rockfort Community Development Council, collects information from resident Roy Bailey at a social services fair held in the community.

Dr Karelle Hylton, PhD, is a counselling psychologist

Dear Counsellor:
I am a 15-year-old female and I live in a community where I would like to be more actively involved in its development. I am interested in seeing how I can contribute and need some advice on how to go about it.
Yours truly,

Dear C.F.,
It is quite commendable that you are interested in community service at this age. You may contribute to your community by volunteering at your local infirmary, at the library, at the hospital, in your church, in children’s homes or homes for the elderly. You may even consider a project that will help the community’s development whether in sports – forming a youth sports club – becoming an active member in your local police youth club, or even in education – homework centres.

You may want to volunteer also through your local municipal corporation. Every parish in Jamaica has a municipal corporation through which community projects are undertaken; for example, painting a community centre or Labour Day projects. You would be required to visit your local municipal corporation and identify the councillor that represents your division. Although this person is usually a political representative, your interest in service should not be discouraged because of political affiliation/choice.

All divisions within the municipality may have a junior counsellor, and the junior mayor is selected from among the junior counsellors. The junior counsellors are afforded a $50K grant that they use for a community project under the supervision of their representative. The junior mayor is afforded some $500K to develop a community project under similar supervision.

Young people like yourself are the future of any country, and your interest in volunteerism is a signal to me that Jamaica, along with the world, is in a good place.

I wish you all the best. Thank you in advance for your service.

• Dr Karelle Hylton, PhD, is a counselling psychologist. Email: karelle_hylton@yahoo.com.

Do you have a question for our counsellor?
Send questions and feedback to karelle_hylton@yahoo.com.

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