Molineux-Phillips’ youth gain valuable life skills training

(Left to right) Ghyslin Williams of CLAMP, PS Lloyd Lazar, CYA Ian Richards, Dr. Heather Johnson (photo courtesy of Alex Matthew)

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 19, 2010 (SKNIS): “Exciting, informative, uplifting” and “fun” were words used by participants who successfully completed a three-day National Youth Empowerment and Skills Training Workshop which ran from August 16 to 18, 2010.

The initiative was organized by the CARICOM Youth Ambassador (CYA) Programme (St. Kitts and Nevis) in collaboration with the Community Leaders Advancing Molineux and Phillips’ (CLAMP) club, the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and the CARICOM Secretariat.

“I learnt a lot,” Tashema, one of the 34 graduating participants, told SKNIS. “We learnt about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and what type of activities we can get involved in.” The young lady, a recent graduate of the C. F. Bryant College is currently pondering her future, and said she has been exposed to a world of possibilities.

In addition to entrepreneurism, the 15- 24 years old participants – drawn from the Molineux and Phillips’ communities – reviewed anger management, decision making, conflict resolution and goal setting.

CARICOM Youth Ambassador Ian Richards declared “mission accomplished” at the closing ceremony on Wednesday evening. He explained that while the objectives of the workshop have been achieved, the work to empower the Nation’s youth is a process that must, and will continue.

Parliamentary Representative for the area Honourable Timothy Harris (third from left) attended the closing ceremony (photo courtesy of Alex Matthew)

CARICOM Secretariat’s Deputy Programme Manager responsible for Youth Affairs Dr. Heather Johnson told the gathering that the workshop is part of a regional pilot project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to reduce crime and violence. The modules were founded on the outcomes of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD) Report which chronicled the dreams and aspirations of young people across the region.

“Young people are in the midst of what is going on. They understand the issues and they have the solutions,” Dr. Johnson stated. “What they have said … is that they need opportunities … for education, for employment and they need opportunities for life skills.”

“They also said that they were tired of the talk; they are tired of the empty promises and they wanted action and they want it now. And so this workshop really is one of the initial ways of responding to young people,” she stressed.

The workshop was designed by youth, organized by youth and implemented by youth. Practical aspects included airbrushing and graphics design.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Lloyd Lazar encouraged the young participants to use what they learnt and share them with others in their community.

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