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CAD$44,000 To Support Vulnerable Boys In Saint Lucia


Launched in September 2023, the Local Engagement and Action Fund (LEAF) is a new Government of Canada local development grant mechanism for Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Following an open call for proposals, the St. Lucia Social Development Fund was selected to receive grant funding totaling CAD$44,775 for the ‘Our Boys Matter’ project. This is the first LEAF grant in Saint Lucia.

During a ceremony held on Thursday, January 25, at the Coco Palm Resort in Rodney Bay, the High Commission of Canada’s Head of Cooperation for the Eastern Caribbean Abebech Assefa and Executive Director of the St. Lucia Social Development Fund John Victorin officially signed the LEAF contribution agreement.

Speaking at the event, Head of Cooperation Abebech Assefa emphasized Canada’s continued commitment to the Eastern Caribbean, sharing “the Government of Canada believes in the strength of local interventions to address community needs. Local organizations play a crucial role in identifying priority issues and proposing solutions. We look forward to seeing the results of the ‘Our Boys Matter’ project and the lessons learned that can benefit other communities and countries.”

 Dr. Charmaine Hippolyte Emmanuel, Permanent Secretary (Ag.) from the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment was also in attendance and affirmed her gratitude stating “the grant is more than a financial conversation; it is synonymous with positive social change and will serve as a catalyst to empower our young men and allow them to experience a holistic learning experience”.

 Attendees included representatives from local government agencies, the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Field Services Support Project-Caribbean FSSP-C team, other partners, and stakeholders.

The 12-month LEAF project with the St. Lucia Social Development Fund will provide 120 vulnerable boys aged 13-18, with the necessary support to improve their academic performance and behaviour.

Focusing on improving educational performance as well as soft and technical skills competencies, the project will ensure that the boys develop the right aptitude and attitude to position them to become productive law-abiding citizens.

The pillars of the project are Educational Assistance, Psychosocial Support, and Family Dynamics Strengthening using psychoeducational programs such as decision making, emotional intelligence, life skills, mentorship, anger management skills, behavior modification, cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy, motivational interviewing, and group counseling sessions.

Eleven projects, totaling more than CAD$578,000, have been approved under the Government of Canada’s Local Engagement and Action Fund (LEAF) for the Caribbean.

The next LEAF call for proposals for Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines is anticipated to be in July/August 2024, and will support innovative projects ranging from CAD$20,000 to up to CAD$100,000.

SOURCE: Local Engagement and Action Fund

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  1. Thank you to the Right Honourable Prime Minister and Goverment of Canada for your generosity to St. Lucians.

  2. This is not a lot of money, but it is a critical initiative. Every district should have youth organizations with a wide range of mentorship, social skills, character building, community service, tutorial , sports etc to engage and address the needs of at risk males . Youth leadership in every community should come up with proposals to access this fund for the benefit of their respective communities.

  3. Pierre you don’t like white people but you love their money hypocrites god will deal with you and your suragate ST Lucian’s in misery


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