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Social Worker of the Month - October 2019

Effy Nembhard

It takes Effy Nembhard approximately 2 ½ hours and four (4) vehicles from her home in St. Catherine to get to her place of work in Clarendon. Being a social worker employed with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), she works in volatile communities in the Clarendon region. But Effy has never woke one day feeling as if she does not want to go to work as she is very passionate about what she does.

Clarendon is a parish often plagued by violence. However, through collaborative efforts between the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) and other agencies, steps are being taken to remedy the issue of social conflicts in the parish.

Effy performs group counselling sessions as well as behaviour modification sessions. She interacts with high-risk youths in these areas to see how best their energy can be channeled into other directions whether it is by linking them to skills training opportunities or job opportunities. 

In her own words, here is just one of Effy's "success stories":

I started working with *John in 2017. At that time he was involved in gang-related activities. Through my direct intervention he was taken to a youth camp where he was taught about conflict resolution, anger management, entrepreneurship, stress management and helping to keep the community safe. 

In 2018 he was given an opportunity to work for three months to gain experience. He had skills as a plumber so [he] was placed at NWC. His work ethics were so much admired that he was told at the end of three months that he could get a permanent job when he became certified by HEART. 

He was able to save money from that three months employment to purchase a flat screen TV.

His work was so outstanding that he got recalled for work at NWC without the certification!

Through PMI direct intervention he was recently certified on the job in plumbing and has now recommended other youths to the program to turn their life around.

A few months ago he purchased a motorcycle and is now singing our praises.

From a violence producer to a productive member of his community n the labour force, because I worked with him...provided needed intervention and linked him with the necessary agencies. 

[UPDATE] This young man has now gotten a promotion at work after only 7 months! He has been to NHT looking about a loan to help him build his house. He has taken it upon himself to start the house while waiting on NHT. It's truly amazing!

Coming from a low socio-economic background has only propelled Effy further into a career which will allow her to make an indelible impact on the lives of those she interacts with on a daily basis.

Previously a Data Collector with the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, she often gathered data from persons in various communities. It was through interacting and seeing the different struggles these individuals were faced with that she sought to make various recommendations and gave them information.

In addition, Effy says that there were many persons who contributed to her success so she sees it only fit to pay it forward. 

"People often found it easy to confide in me," Effy said. She's so happy she discovered social work and states that since that time she has not looked back once.

Her message to social workers is, “I want persons to come to this field not because it’s a field that’s expanding or it’s a field that they think they can earn a good income from. I want them to come to this field because they have compassion and love in their heart for their fellow men."

We salute you, Effy, and the wonderful work you do every day! Thank you for exemplifying the true character of a social worker and for your dedication to the wonderful work of transformation through intervention!

( 876 866 8637

*  jamaicasocialwork@gmail.com

Jamaica Association of Social Workers

University of the West Indies

Social Welfare Training Centre

Mona, Kingston Jamaica

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