23 young people aged 17 to 30 from the communities of Denham Town, Parade Gardens and Trench Town will each receive a grant of $300-$500 to boost their personal businesses as part of the UP Unity & Peace programme, coordinated by Fight for Peace in Kingston, Jamaica. 

These young people, whose businesses range from barbering, fashion design, photography, hairdressing, farming and animal rearing, presented their ideas to judges through in-person and video pitches, and were awarded the grants based on criteria including budgeting, planning and presentation.

One of the awardees is Renee Brown, a 25 year old who began pig rearing in January 2021. Renee’s farm has been growing steadily ever since. 

“I know everything about [pigs] and what they need… I do get my hands dirty…[A lot of] people say they love [to see] how a young girl can do this. They don’t look down on me, they actually cheer me on, especially my mother – she feels good about it,” the registered farmer told us.

Balbow Saunders, who is also 25 years old explained, “I just made up my mind that I’m going to do barbering…It is art, and it is my love of art that brought me to it. I see the potential in myself and I am very passionate about it. I just want to expand my shop and stick to it.” 

As part of the project, funded by the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), awardees will receive entrepreneurial training from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, as well as access to Fight for Peace resources in administration and governance, monitoring and evaluation, and collective impact approaches.

Yonique Campbell, Community Coordinator for the UP Unity & Peace programme in Denham Town, was pleased her community was included in this year’s project:

“I have young people that used to come to my house to use my wifi. With this funding, we can expand the homework help we have at the community centre, and that is progress.”

“We are looking forward to going even further in this area of our work, supporting young people succeed in building their businesses. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Community Development Committees for providing this support to aid us in achieving that.”

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.

The programme offers services for young people aligned with Fight for Peace’s Five Pillar methodology. So far, the programme has reached more than 300 young people, and provided training and support to more than 50 NGOs and partner organisations. 

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