(ZIZ)– Minister of Health, Hon. Marcella Liburd had great thanks for the family, friends and well wishers of the residents of the New Horizons Centre who turned out for the Easter programme they staged last week.
Ms. Liburd said the level of support the residents were receiving from those closest to them was encouraging as it was the aim was for individuals on the programme to eventually be reunited with their loved ones and communities.
“Family, friends and guardians of the residents who are here, we are happy that you came out because part of our agenda is to endure that at the end of the day these residents are reunited with their families and with their communities. We want to be able to give them skills and I’m asking you in the community, and you generally in the country, to give them a chance, give them an opportunity. As you see we try here to help them to acquire skills so that when they go out they can move in a positive direction.”
She also had praises for the government and its vision in establishing an institution like New Horizons Centre where the focus is on rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Liburd noted that although others did not initially see the benefit of such a facility, it has come to show its worth and success as other Caribbean territories are now using the programme in St. Kitts as a model upon which to fashion similar initiatives for at risk children.
“I want to compliment the government of St. Kitts and Nevis for requesting this facility. The Prime Minister reminded me that when we were asking for this facility, asking for funding from the Caribbean Development Bank, they didn’t understand what we were talking about, but you know what? This is what is being looked to, because this is the only one of its kind in the OECS region. So we are leading the way in this regard, and so the other territories are looking to us to see how they could take pattern from this to do their own [programmes] for young people who are at risk and how they can deal with them because we have clearly moved from punishment to rehabilitation.”