Eight young people were recently trained in the art of jewellery-making at the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts. These talented youngsters have not only designed and created unique pieces, but have already had their first order of items filled to be sold in gift shops across the island.
The Glasstone Project, as it is called, was initially developed by the United Kingdom-based Travel Foundation, a charity whose focus is on the sustainability of travel and tourism. Sandals Foundation’s involvement in the project is to assist young people to develop a skill and create a livelihood that makes use of recyclable materials.
The participants, aged 17 to 27, learnt how to make jewellery from copper and glass, and their products will be made available for purchase in resort shops by February 1. Additionally, other pieces have also been made available for sale to the local market.
Joseph Miller, 27, one of the participants, said now that he has experienced what it is to fill an order for a client, he is inspired to be an entrepreneur and share his knowledge with those who are interested in developing new skills.
“When I just started this programme, I saw my potential in handling the tools used to make the jewellery. We got to showcase the jewellery that we made on the lawns of Devon House in Kingston and that was very motivational. This experience has driven me to push and work harder,” he said.
The jewellers were prepped at the RISE Life Management Services’ (Reaching Individuals through Skills and Education) Youth Leadership Training Programme.
“We work with vulnerable inner-city youths to develop new skills, but the opportunity was missing for them to get jobs or be self-employed. With this kind of intervention, they have the chance to lead honest and productive lives,” said Sonita Abrahams, executive director of RISE.
The skills-training project, which cost approximately US$10,000 to implement, was made possible with funding from the Travel Foundation and the Sandals Foundation.
According to Annette Tingle, Jamaica programme coordinator of the Travel Foundation, “This initiative has helped to pull young people together to explore creativity and see first-hand how a business is incubated,” she stated.
They were given three two-hour classes per week at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts. The classes, which spanned a six-week period, included design expertise, production space and training, led by Garth Sanguinetti. There are also the processes of tumbling, brushing, boring, cutting and wire-wrapping.
The students who have completed their practical coursework are now looking towards HEART certification by undertaking business administration and continued education studies at the Edna Manley College.
Link to Original article – Jan 27, 2013, Gleaner Jamaica – http://mobile.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130127/out/out6.php