Fight for Peace Academy Director, Jean-Pierre Moore recently made an exciting visit to our UP Unity & Peace team in Jamaica, so we caught up with him to find out more about the incredible work being delivered on the ground, and how visits like this can help us find new ways to further develop our global work in supporting young people in our communities.
UP Unity & Peace is a Fight for Peace coordinated Collective programme based in communities in Kingston, Jamaica, that brings together services and organisations from across communities to support young people most at risk.
“I spent a lot of time with our Programme Manager, Mark Cole, who coordinates a collective of organisations delivering sports sessions and personal development activities to children and young people in some of the most challenging environments in Jamaica – Kingston in particular,” explained Jean-Pierre.
“I got to visit communities that are quite protective and reluctant to let strangers in due to the issues that take place in neighbouring towns, just from the strength of the work Fight for Peace do, and the delivery of this service by the incredible coordinators who are based in some of the areas really affected, and at most at risk of violence,” he continued.
Each coordinator is responsible for looking after one part of the community, and is generally from that area, allowing them to act as a bridge between these communities and Fight for Peace, supporting the delivery of our model by engaging with coaches and holistic support services from different venues around Kingston.
“The scale of the work being delivered really impressed me, with 48 partners running sessions on any given day, and taking place across half of Kingston.”
Sessions include homework clubs, boxing and martial arts, as well as EduSport – combining physical activities and life skills. Psychosocial support is also available from a team of specialists, identifying any young people who need additional support and offering 1:1 sessions to aid them in their practical and emotional support needs.
“The scale of the work being delivered really impressed me, with 48 partners running sessions on any given day, and taking place across half of Kingston. Coordinators are able to be really responsive to emerging needs if any issues take place involving our young people, as they have the credibility and respect to mediate potentially difficult situations,” Jean-Pierre told us.
The team also have wider connection to government agencies such as custody secure prisons, and have positioned themselves as a national contributor to the conversation of violence reduction, which is testament to the coaches, coordinators, and the wider team for their focused delivery.
“It’s also important that we keep our partners engaged through training and capacity building, so Mark and I delivered a Life Champions training session, designed to develop and train coaches in tackling youth violence in order to better support young people,” said Jean-Pierre.
20 partners from sports federations from around Kingston attended on the day, highlighting the need to grow and develop these initiatives with valuable input and support from those partners who play a key role in delivering them.
“The team out there in Jamaica is incredible, and really blew me away. It was a fact-finding, as well as relationship building experience which allowed us to connect and gain a real understanding of what each team brings to our global work, encouraging us to prepare ourselves to be more effective and efficient in the work that we do,” explained Jean-Pierre.
“The team out there in Jamaica is incredible, and really blew me away. It was a fact-finding, as well as relationship building experience which allowed us to connect and gain a real understanding of what each team brings to our global work.”
“For me, it’s also created a renewed emphasis for us to connect our young people in the same way, because if this is how transformative it can be for our staff and partners, imagine what collaboration between our young people can do.”
Thank you to our global partners, UNICEF and the EU, who are both significant in supporting our work, providing ongoing support to allow UP Unity & Peace to develop and grow their presence and impact across communities in Kingston, Jamaica.