Youth get assistance

Democratic Labour Party candidate, Senator Harry Husbands, is putting his money where his mouth is — literally.

The Democratic Labour Party’s candidate for St. James North said he aims to create employment for the young people of the constituency but instead of giving them a hand-out, he has embarked on an initiative to help them empower themselves to ultimately create self-employment.

With the help of a close friend, Lloyd Thompson, this morning they launched a community project at Links in Lower Carlton, St. James to do just this. The project is based on creating jobs for landscapers and those people interested in the maintenance of landscaping equipment.

Husbands said that previously they started a similar project but it failed so they re-organised to come again but with a slightly different approach. Instead of distributing the equipment for it to get lost or fall into disrepair again, they will now rent equipment for a nominal fee.

“As I go around the community many of the young people were inquiring about the acquisition of similar types of equipment to do their own thing. The experience we had before failed. . . and the approach is that we have acquired the equipment and we are going to acquire more, with the assistance of Lloyd Thompson who is a small engine repairman.

“He is going to keep the equipment at his house and people who want to use it, they can borrow it and when they return they have to make a donation of about $5 to help with the maintenance and also help provide the fuel. I only learned the other day that the mixture that you put into these pieces of equipment is important; if you don’t mix it correctly it destroys the internal mechanisms, so what we will do is have the mixture so that he can do the repairs and we can guarantee as long a life as possible,” he said.

This morning six weed whackers and two lawn mowers valued at thousands of dollars were presented. Over time they intend to add other pieces of equipment, including wheelbarrows, to the collection. These pieces were supplied by Husbands and Thompson.

Thompson, a resident of the area for all his life, said he decided to partner with Husbands purely because of his love for young people. He said even before this initiative he would go around his community to find unemployed people to assist them in any way he could.

“I would bring them here to work at our family home, rather than they go out there and get themselves involved in mischief,” he said. “I prefer them to come and do some work around here and keep themselves out of trouble.

“That is why I get involved because I really love young people. I don’t love what some of we do, and I say we ’cause I was young too. Right now I want to discuss with Harry sometime in the new year to hopefully teach classes to do whatever we can do and assist people.”

As well as maintaining the equipment, he will also train the young men and women in its proper.

Unemployment is but one of the issues facing the St. James North constituency, said Husbands, who pointed to a lack of recreational facilities for the youth. In the near future, he added, he will be addressing some of these issues. (KC)†

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