YES Programme trainees host Sugar Boyz’ U17 heroes

St. Kitts (August 16, 2010)…Peter Ngunjiri – When the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) Programme and the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) collaborated with A Ganar Alliance Initiative in hosting a luncheon at Football House on Friday August 13, the two succeed in killing three birds with one stone.

According to Leslie Connor, manager at the YES Programme secretariat, the luncheon which was prepared and laid out by the Keys Community Centre-based hotels trade class students, was being used as a platform to assess the trainees for the customer service aspect of their training. Luncheon guests were members of the successful St. Kitts-Nevis Male U17 football team.

“When I see what they (students) are accomplishing, it gives me a sense of feeling that all is not lost when it comes to young people,” said Connor. “Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, when he started the YES Programme, had seen the light in which he could showcase and make sure that young people realise that there is a space for them in every part of their lives.”

SKNFA’s coordinator, Troy ‘Bif” Mills, said that his organisation is an implementing agency of the A Ganar Alliance Initiative and through it, members of the U17 team who had been exposed to table etiquette were also being assessed on their behaviour. In addition to the two aspects of assessing both the sides, the luncheon had also been held as a way to thank the footballers.

“The U17 will be journeying to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday (August 16) to represent the Federation in the U17 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and they are being exposed to situations like this and we needed to have an appreciation with the training we have done, where they are standing and I am pleased to say from what I have seen, they have done a wonderful job,” commented Mills.

Attending the luncheon was Elneth Harvey, the A Ganar country coordinator, who said that hers is a programme that has been piloted in Latin America and the Caribbean, whose major objective is to provide young people particularly at-risk youths with employable skills, recognising that unemployment among youth are a major problem in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“So far in the Caribbean we have Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts and Nevis,” observed Harvey. “We have here in St. Kitts three implementing organisations, the Football Association, Community Achievers Project (CAP), and Caribbean Healthy Lifestyles Programme.”

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