Overview of JRC Youth Section
The Jamaica Red Cross since its inception has maintained its support of youth and continues to invest in their development and meaningful involvement in the National Society. Recognizing the value of youth engagement, the Jamaica Red Cross encourages youth participation at all levels from developing policies, implementing programmes and shaping the future of our humanitarian response.
Jamaica Red Cross Youth Motto: Serve One Another
The Jamaica Red Cross has a vibrant Youth Section including volunteers from ages 5-30. It undertakes a range of activities aimed at engaging the nation’s youth through volunteerism and promoting the benefits of civic engagement.
The aims of the Jamaica Red cross youth are to :
- Protect life and health of oneself and others
- Give aid and comfort to the sick and suffering
- Link together all the children of the world in a chain of friendship
- Inform others about the Red Cross Principles and Humanitarian Law
Jamaica Red Cross has Youth links or clubs in schools and in out of school settings, targeting children and adolescents aged 5 – 17 years of age. These clubs create an increased opportunity for Red Cross to have contact with youths of all ages and backgrounds. The youth in these links meet regularly to plan and participate in various activities.
Red Cross youth include young adults aged 18-30 who form the Cadet Groups. These cadets participate in the Red cross activities also give assistance to the Youth Link members in the schools. They address the more mature concerns of youth through advocacy and other activities.
Our cadets sit on various executives of the sections within the Jamaica Red Cross. They are encouraged to be fully involved in the planning, design, delivery, and review of Jamaica Red Cross services to which they contribute or from which they benefit.
Jamaica Red Cross youth form part of a larger network of Caribbean Red Cross youth who have a shared vision.
Youth Programmes and Activities
HIV Prevention through peer education and community interventions. Red Cross youth are trained as peer educators and peer leaders. Through these training, they have reached thousands of their peers and community members with information on HIV & other STIs. Services such as HIV testing and counseling are largely successful among the youth population who regard the service as being friendly and non- discriminatory. Youth trained using the internationally accredited curriculum for training youth peer educators “Together We Can”.
Red Cross Schools
The Jamaica Red Cross School of Transformation reaches the young person in the parishes of St Catherine and Clarendon who due to behavior challenges are not enrolled in the traditional schools. It serves to provide basic numeracy and literacy skills while providing psycho-social interventions for both students and guardians.
National Youth Rally
Each year, over 1500 Red Cross Youth from across the island come together to share their talents and ideas at the annual National Youth Rally. Youth aged 5 – 30 participate in activities and competitions around basic Red Cross skills including Drill, First Aid, Arts & Craft, Quiz, and Banner. Additional activities surrounding the year’s theme is also included which may include Community Based Projects and Poster Competitions.
Jamaica Red Cross youth work actively towards reducing violence and creating safe spaces for youth and marginalized populations. Since 2011, the JRC with the support of the Canadian Red Cross has implemented the Ten Steps to Creating Safer Environments tool, to address Violence. Youth have been trained as Peace Ambassadors in schools and Violence has now been integrated into HIV prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction programmes reaching over 10,000 youth to date.
Other Red Cross Youth Activities
- Red Cross Youth Clubs
- HIV & STI Prevention Trainings
- Violence Prevention Trainings
- Community Service
- Annual Youth Rallies