Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith has lauded the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme (HOPE), following the successful completion of a four month internship programme at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Friday, August 31.
In addressing the 10 interns during a farewell session, the Minister encouraged them to continue on the path of excellence and to be resolute in achieving their goals. She stated that, “I am delighted that the Foreign Ministry could have provided such an opportunity for our young people. The onus is now on them to use this vehicle (HOPE Programme) to propel them into their desired fields.”
Chevel Beckford, Kera Gay Beckford, Tevin Campbell, Cashina James, Dale Jamieson, Corey McGregor, Tiffany Myers, Dimario Tenn, Winston Williams and Abbey Gayle Wynter, and were the first batch of interns to have received placement in the Foreign Ministry through this programme.
Through this initiative, the interns were assigned duties in various Departments including Office Management, Library, Registry, Legal Unit and the Public Relations Department.
During the farewell session, the interns were given the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience in the ministry and by extension the programme.
“I am thankful for this experience; it was great working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, I am a better-rounded individual now, because of this experience. I must say a big thank you to the Legal Department. I now know all the treaties Jamaica has with other countries,” remarked Kera Gay Beckford who worked with Legal Unit.
Eighteen year old Winston Williams, the youngest participant in the lot shared that the experience garnered in the ministry taught him valuable life lessons, “Upon doing this internship, I learned how to adapt to my environment and how important it is to be confidential. I have been accepted in the JDF and where my life is going after this, I think those main points will help me to become a successful soldier.”
Cory McGregor shared that, “I have to thank so many people in the Ministry for playing an important role in my life. I speak to many persons about life, telling them that they may fall, but they have to get up and keep going. I believe things can change that’s why I push myself so I can show people that no matter who they are, they can make a difference, they can make an impact.”
On the question of their intended plans following the conclusion of the internship, Dimario Tenn noted, that he will be applying to the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Myers also expressed similar intentions to serve her country through becoming a member of the JCF.
Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Gilbert-Roberts encouraged the hope interns to share their experience with other youths in their communities. “You have indicated that if you could have gotten such an opportunity, other youths in your communities can too. So be encouraged by that. Even though we come to an end here, this is not the end of the wonderful things that I know are in store for you all.”
The HOPE programme is the brain child of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, which seeks to promote and optimize growth and development of Jamaica’s youth between the ages of 18-24 so that they can become well-adjusted and responsible citizens whilst contributing to Jamaica’s development and prosperity.