Development Bank lauds ministry for sensitising youths on financial matters

Fifth form student Miss Tehya Fleming delivers a vote of thanks, after Mr Shavon Douglas (standing) and Ms Jasmine Primus (sitting, right) made their presentations.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (February 13, 2013) — Mr Shavon Douglas, head of Business Support Unit at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, is commenting that a drive by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment to encourage and advance financial knowledge of the Federation’s youth is a step in the right direction.

“The Ministry of Youth Empowerment commits and continually aspires to engage and advance the financial knowledge of our Federation’s youths,” according to Youth Officer in the ministry, Ms Kenisha Liburd. “Ergo, the Ministry endeavours to promote proper money management skills amongst most vulnerable youths through education and outreach in the area of finance.”

Two secondary schools in St. Kitts have already benefitted from a workshop themed, ‘Tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went’. Mr Douglas was a facilitator at the two workshops, the first which was held on Monday February 11 at the Saddlers Secondary School, and the second one on Tuesday at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School.

“The theme ‘tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went’,dovetails nicely into what the Development Bank is also now realising and wants to begin to engage the citizens and by extension the high school students to begin to retool themselves to start saving towards their short term and long term goals,” said Mr Douglas.

“So it was quite easy to do my presentation and basically try to get them to look at three basic objectives; one, which is basically participants will be able to name one advantage and disadvantage of savings; two, participants would be able to explain ways that they can cut back on spending in an effort to save; and three, participants would be able to identify saving goals.”

Also making a presentation at the Saddlers Secondary School was Mr Arnaldo Bailey, General Manager, Eastern Caribbean Institutional Banking, while two officials from the Scotiabank, Mrs Shirmel Harris-Edwards, Assistant Manager, Personal Banking, and Mr Lerone McIntosh, Personal Banking Officer, also made presentations at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School.

Group picture at Charles E. Mills Secondary School: Standing front row from left are Ms Lorozene O’Flaherty (teacher), Mr Shavon Douglas (Development Bank), Ms Kristen Hendrickson and Ms Kenisha Liburd (Ministry of Youth Empowerment), Ms Jasmine Primus (Development Bank), Mrs Shirmel Harris-Edwards and Mr Lerone McIntosh (Scotiabank), Mrs Fiona Hyliger and Mr Deon French (teachers), with the students in the background.

Accompanying Mr Douglas at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School was Development Bank’s Business Support Officer, Ms Jasmine Primus, who wrote notes on a chalkboard as Mr Douglas engaged the fourth and fifth form students at the workshop by asking them to identify their ‘needs’ and their ‘wants’ in life.

“The students’ response was quite pleasing,” observed Mr Douglas. “We had overwhelming responses to the information that was presented to them. The fundamental part was reaffirming the differences between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and which is primarily in the ‘wants’ areas where their interest lies.

“In the engagement and interaction between themselves within my presentation, you found a lot of the goals that they indicated that they would want to set fell in that category of what we know as ‘wants’, as opposed to their ‘needs’ and so the presentation was able to help to underline the importance of setting goals, focus on the ‘needs’ as opposed to ‘wants’. I think they would have walked away quite comfortably with that part being clarified and reaffirmed in their minds.”

Head of Business Department at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School, Mrs Fiona Hyliger, reported that the students benefited immensely from the two presentations, first by the Scotiabank team and then by the Development Bank team.

“What I found was that the lectures reinforced what we as teachers tell the children,”commented Mrs Hyliger. “They ought to save and they do not have to spend so much money during the week, take a little of their lunch money and put it aside so that when they really need something they can have that money to purchase it.”

Youth Officer at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ms Kenisha Liburd chaired the workshop proceedings. She was accompanied by Ms Kristen Hendrickson, Youth Officer. Misss Tehya Fleming, a Form 5A1 student, gave the vote of thanks.

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