The Project Viola Capacity Building programme and The Second Chance Teen Mothers programme closed off their 2 week sessions with a graduation ceremony on Saturday.

Held at the OTI conference room, the graduation ceremony, organized by The Department Of Gender Affairs, closed off the programme’s two week workshop.

Project Viola aims to centralize support for teen mothers or at risk youth and assists with their personal and career development.

Gender Officer Responsible For Project Viola, Shinnel Charles gave an overview of the programme.

“The project provides adolescent male opportunities for adventures, self discovery, cultural exchange, leadership building and serves through training. According to the Health Information Unit of the Ministry of Health, over the past 10 years, there has been a decline in teen pregnancy. From 19% in 2004 to 12% in 2015. With programmes like Project Viola working to educate adolescents, support teens and destigmatize teen pregnancy, we hope that this downward trend will continue”, Charles said.

Project Manager For The Basic Needs Trust Fund, Azilla Clarke gave the graduating class words of advice.

“The BNTF programme and the Caribbean Development Bank congratulates the participants on taking the opportunity for all that it is worth. My challenge to you is to remain focused on your life goals. I know growing up in St. Kitts Nevis is never an easy place. We mind each others’ business more than we mind the cost of living. We talk about you and say all manner of evil against you but if you stand in the light of the lord who created you, only good things can happen”, Clarke expressed.

Permanent Secretary In The Ministry Of Community Development, Gender Affairs And Social Services, Janelle Lewis commended the graduating participants on behalf of the Hon. Eugene Hamilton and Senator Wendy Phipps.

“The Ministry commends these young ladies and the young men for making the sacrifice to attend the Summer training programme. You could have stayed at home…watched television, or browsed facebook and gone to other activities, but you made a positive decision to attend the Summer training programme held by the Department of Gender Affairs on both isands”, Lewis said.

On St. Kitts, Outstanding Participation awards were presented to Cherece Warner and Delvin Williams. Most Improved awards were given to Khalid French and Tessalyna Norford.

Over 150 adolescents have participated in The Project Viola programme thus far.

The awards for Most Helpful participants were given to Kadesha Hodge and David Mothersill, While D’gene Dias, Juwayne Harvey and Kadesha Hodge were awarded Most Respectful.

In Nevis, under The Second Chance Teen Mothers category, Junetta Daniel received the award for Most Outstanding participation, Chelsea Powell received the award for Most Improved, while the Most Respectful award went to Vincia Hendrickson.

The ceremony was held under the theme “Capacity Building For Sustainability”.