At-Risk Youth get help from Peers

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — More than 30 young people are preparing to present projects to address issues in their respective communities with a particular focus on engaging and promoting positive opportunities for at-risk youth.

This is the expected goal of the Youth Service Training Project organized by the Department of Youth in St. Kitts. Sessions began on August 18 and are held twice weekly. The young people, most of whom are representing a community-based group, have covered several topics including needs assessment, situational analysis, project development and others.

“The progress so far has been good,” said Pierre Liburd, Senior Youth Officer in the Department of Youth. “I have been impressed by the young persons. I’m pleased with the progress that they are making and I think that the presenters are also pleased with the quality of the participation and I’m expecting great things to come out of it.”

The participants were divided into five groups to develop their project, targeting at-risk youth. On Thursday (September 10th), each team is expected to make a presentation on the project to the organizing team for funding up to EC$1,000.

Although their backgrounds are different, they are all locked in to the specific goal.

“We have group leaders in the community and I think it is always a good idea to give them more training,” Nigencia James, 19, of the Bethel Moravian Youth Group stated. “This forum helps to shape the leader inside of us so that we can go on to help others.” Thirty-four year old Maurice Franks of Shadwell agreed. Although not presently in a group, Maurice felt it was important to attend the training where learning and strategic collaboration are major factors. He opined that parenting was a key area to address in social intervention and hinted that his group may incorporate such in its strategy.

Another participant, Petra McSheen, 31, of Cayon, explained that her group –Woman to Woman – was new and she was grateful for the workshop as she seeks to build partnerships in her bid to improve awareness of domestic abuse. “I will use the information from this workshop to … better manage my group,” she noted, describing the sessions as “informative.”

As motivation to the participants, Peter Jenkins, who facilitated the strategic planning session left a strong note of encouragement while reflecting on the impact of globalisation.

“You are not competing with yourselves anymore,” he cautioned. “You are competing with Chinese, Japanese, and people from Singapore, the USA, and Russia and at all levels of our development. We have shown that we are just as good so don’t underrate yourself by feeling because you come from a small country you are small.”

Senior Youth Officer Liburd is hoping that the young people will to rise to the occasion once again as they work together to build a stronger nation.

You might also like More from author