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Officers There To Help
Monday, 19 April 2010 09:50
WHILE PLANS are being made to appoint five Programme Officers to oversee the operations of the full complement of 30 Constituency Councils, three officers attached to the Department of Constituency Empowerment currently supervise the programme assistants attached to those councils which are already established.

They are Oriel Nicholls, (Christ Church South and St George South Constituency Councils); Hazel Reynolds (St Philip South and St Michael North); and Deborah Norville (St Michael North West and St James North).

The five programme assistants are Shirley-Ann Small (Christ Church South); Ann O'Neale ( St George South); Stephanie Burgess (St Philip South); Theresa Goodman (St Michael North West); and Rene Payne, St James North.

Together they assist the Councils with the formulation and implementation of programmes and activities by providing guidance, training and technical assistance.

Norville explains: "If the Councils are working on a project we may facilitate by providing flyers, literature, and technical assistance. We also help with various protocols and work with the different ministries to provide any necessary assistance."

"In addition, we encourage the Programme Assistants to develop ideas, assist them with their public relations outreach initiatives in the communities, and generally help them with the total development of their communities," adds Reynolds.

Strengthening the capacity of the Programme Assistants involves continuous training, and over the next several months training on subjects such as conflict resolution, team building, meeting management, proposal writing and developmental skills, will be provided.

"Community members need to understand that the Constituency Councils are there to reach out to all. Likewise, any individual who wants to help with the development of his or her community can feel free to contact their constituency council.

"There is no politics involved in the operations of the Councils. We are simply trying to build up oneness within communities," states Reynolds.

Over the past months Council members have been hard at work collecting information on the resources within their respective communities. In this regard, much support has been given by the churches within the various catchment areas.

The programme officers believe that by July next year, Constituency Councils would have made significant marks in their respective communities and would have witnessed the involvement of more persons.
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