Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 03, 2019 (SKNIS): The Volunteer Corps (VC) in St. Kitts and Nevis has provided life-changing experiences to some members, who praised the programme for helping them to become more aware of the world around them.
Chris Tyson, 19, and Keicelyn Boddie, 23, are two current members who have publicly declared that the VC has positively changed their lives since they joined.
Mr. Tyson was enrolled in the programme in 2017 while studying at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. He was obligated to provide four hours of community service per month as a recipient of the Supporting Advancement of Further Education (SAFE) scholarship. During his two years of study, Mr. Tyson explained that he volunteered for beach cleanups, career fairs and summer camps. He found the experience so rewarding that he has remained in the VC even though he graduated from the CFBC.
Ms. Boddie also joined in 2017 after hearing about the programme. She said that the VC has brought her out of her comfort zone and helped her to meet interesting people.
Such was the case at the 10th Regional Assembly for Disabled People’s International North America and the Caribbean. Six members of the Volunteer Corps including Tyson and Boddie helped delegates to get around the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for the August 23 to 25, 2019, event.
The team performed professionally and was commended for the high level of service and overall attentiveness to the special challenges of the delegates. The commendation came from the participants and the coordinators of the St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Persons with Disabilities.
The experience clearly made an impression on the young volunteers as they have never worked with differently-abled individuals.
“It was very good,” Ms. Boddie stated. “You got to look at them from a different perspective. They don’t like to be called handicapped. They’d rather do things for themselves before they even ask for your help. We don’t look at them as nobodies. They are human beings because at the end of the day we all can become disabled from illness or accident.”
Mr. Tyson stated: “I was very moved. It got me to think that there is something that I can do within St. Kitts to help make St. Kitts more accessible, with equal opportunities for them to move about and be mainstreamed and integrated more into society.”
He added that the experiences with the Volunteer Corps are very rewarding and fulfilling, even more so than his job or his time in school.
The Volunteer Corps is an initiative of the Department of Youth Empowerment.