(PRESS RELEASE) – LASCO Chin Foundation (LCF) was officially unveiled at a press breakfast on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel Venetian Suite.
Chairman of the Foundation, Founder and Executive Chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies Hon Lascelles A. Chin, O.J, C.D, LLD in his remarks said it was always his life’s dream to help Jamaica.
“This Foundation will create a legacy greater than all my business achievements combined. Long after I am gone and the present LASCO management team is no longer around, the LASCO Chin Foundation will be here in Jamaica,” Chairman Chin told the gathering.
“In business life, it is important to recognise the ills of the society in which we operate, and working at being a part of the solution. We need to get to the core cause and build from the ground up, step by step, in a deliberate and planned way,” he continued.
Chief Executive Officer of the new charitable arm of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, then detailed the vision, mission and core strategies of LCF.
“Our vision is to change the way Jamaica views and treats its most vulnerable young people, so that they can be empowered and have access to a range of opportunities to succeed in life generally and business in particular. We, therefore, see our mission as early intervention to help Jamaica’s at-risk youths develop the relationships, goals and capacities needed to break the cycle of poverty and crime and become productive members of society, especially as successful entrepreneurs,” posited Professor Hamilton. In pursuing their mission, LCF will be guided by the Sustainable Socio-Economic Intervention (SSI) Model© in its outreach efforts.
The model aims to battle the core problems of poverty — with special emphasis on at-risk youths with a high likelihood of exposure to the criminal justice system and/or involvement in crime — and deficiencies in the quality of services (solutions) offered to the youth in key areas such as education, healthcare, crime prevention, sports, music/culture and climate change awareness and resilience.
The Foundation will implement two key interventions: The SSI Entrepreneurship Programme, a tw0-phased initiative that includes providing beneficiaries entrepreneurial training and opportunities to practice elements of their training while earning money in an intensive, highly-incentivised street vending programme or other micro-business sales programme for at least six months in Phase 1. The second phase assists beneficiaries with establishing or improving their own business through a range of hand-holding interventions for five to 10 years.
“This entrepreneurship intervention will also embrace natural “Hub & Spokes” clusters of businesses so as to foster the collective efficiency, networking, information and knowledge sharing, collective access to markets and more, while fostering the entrepreneurial growth of at-risk youths,” Prof Hamilton said.
Earlier this year, in June 2018, the first cohort of 21 trainees were recruited and trained by LCF in collaboration with the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE).
Prof Hamilton explained: “The recruits participated in a three-day training programme designed to deepen their understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and to prepare them for Street Vending. At the end of the training, trainees received a VIP Vendor Membership Card; a starter kit valued at $50,000 and were assigned mentors.”
Importantly, private and public sector partners assisted in the start-up intervention, including Citizen Safety and Security Programme (CSJP), the Anglican Church (St Luke’s Christ Church), Social Development Commission (SDC), Eastern Peace Centre and Operation Save Jamaica.
The second key intervention is the SSI Schooling Support Programme that will target at-risk youths from as early as 10 years of age and partner with primary schools to identify students due to sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) who are unlikely to overcome the extreme risk factors affecting their school performance unless they receive assistance. Each student will be provided a consistent long-term, professional relationship for approximately 10 years focused on personal development goals, which will also support the youth in his/her school, home and community.
The press breakfast was graced by an address from Minister of Education, Youth, and Information, The Hon Ruel Reid, who endorsed the Foundation’s initiatives, especially the SSI Schooling Support Programme.