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Friday, August 04, 2006 

Youth programmes update
Friday August 04 2006

by Terresa McCall

Upstanding women in St. Kitts are being encouraged to become a part of the “Men in Schools” programme as it is not just limited to their opposite numbers.

The programme was implemented in the high schools in St. Kitts, some months ago, and gets male role models in the community to take time out of their regular schedules to visit these schools and attempt to impart positive influences on the students.

Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security Vesta Southwell told the SUN that the women’s contribution to the programme was just as important as that of the men.
“We want people who can give up their time for these individuals who will be the leaders of the future.

“The role they will play then depends on how we treat them now.

“We need to spend as much time as possible with them, giving positive influence to them.

“We identified that we wanted young men specifically because there is an obvious absence of male positive role models in a lot of the homes today and it has been identified as one of the leading causes of a lot of the young people taking the wrong road.

“We are trying to correct that but, of course, women are needed.

“Women have always had that nurturing aspect which is essential in training children in the way they should go. So women are not being discounted. They are valued in the programme as well,” Southwell said.

The PRO said although there has been some success in the Men in School and Youth at Risk programmes, there was need for members of the corporate and other communities to become involved.

She also explained that all should realise that their involvement in such programmes was beneficial to all.

“We are calling on members of the corporate community, churches, social groups and other organisations and individuals to partner with us and spend time in the high schools.

“It could be between two and four hours spent within the school system, attending classes with the students, sharing experiences, assisting the teachers with their duties and so on. Giving attention to the students that might be overlooked by the system….

“We want other young men, young women as well to come and share their experiences with our young students, not just the police and the defence force. We must remember that this is being done for all of us and for the good of the country.”

An invitation was sent by the PRO for individuals, who have suggestions surrounding these and other programmes, to call and/or visit the Ministry of National Security to air their views.

“If you are not hearing much about our programmes, come in and ask us. We will not be offended. Talk to us and see how you can partner with us because this is for the benefit of all of us.
“Some of these projects are working; maybe not 100 per cent, but they are working. These changes are happening because of changes that have been made.

“We need the support of the public. We have always invited persons to come in and consult with us.”

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