Sunday, September 25, 2022

RISE Reaching Out To Troubled Youth Before Criminals Recruit Them

- Advertisement -

RISE Saint Lucia Inc Chairman Dr. Venus Cherry has indicated that criminal elements are reaching out to groom troubled young men who are experiencing problems in the home.

However,  he stated that the not-for-profit NGO is trying to prevent that.

Cherry’s organisation runs conflict resolution and support programmes for young people and has so far reached out to over 30 schools.

On Thursday night, during the Choice Television Programme ‘Police Insight, he disclosed that many troubled young people are going through much at home.

- Advertisement -

The RISE Saint Lucia Chairman mentioned physical, sexual and mental abuse, and bullying.

“You can’t scream and shout at a child every day and tell them: ‘ You’re dumb, you’ll never learn anything’. You can’t not feed a child and expect them to have the energy to learn. You can’t sexually abuse a young lady – every night she is home, she knows she has to prepare herself. She’s not going to get much sleep – she has to defend herself,” Cherry stated.

“These young ladies are broken,” Cherry lamented.

And he disclosed that most times, the parents are aware of what’s happening but don’t say anything.

He said when the abused females decide they have had enough and run away, people blame them and say all sorts of things about them.

“When a young man decides he has had enough and he can no longer be home and he goes on the street, we say ‘They just want to be criminals,’” Cherry asserted.

He explained that a big issue for most of the students RISE has encountered is that they get labelled quickly, and no one listens to them to hear their story, including why they react in the way they do.

“There has to be a time when you can nicely pull that child aside and just have a conversation. They might be reluctant at first, but you would be surprised how they open up and the tears will come out and they will tell you everything they are going through,” Cherry told Police Insight.

“Not only do we not listen to them, the criminal minds now – the gang leaders and those bosses, they have the time and that’s the new recruiting strategy. They will listen and then they’ll be ‘We got you – we’ll take care of you. Come and check us’. And they’ll start small – like give them a little money to go to school, they might give them a pair of shoes,” he expressed.

But he noted that eventually, none of those gifts were free, and the youngsters would have to pay.

According to the RISE Chairman, that’s how the initiation begins.

However, he revealed that’s where his organisation’s programme comes in.

“We wanted to attack those students before the gang members attack them. We’re trying to recruit them, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make them become volunteers at RISE. We’re trying to help them write up their resumes, the importance of jobs, grooming,” Cherry declared.

He said it was his organisation’s way of trying to fight crime.

At the same time, Cherry explained that the national anti-crime strategy could not be implemented piecemeal but in a coordinated and holistic way.

- Advertisement -
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. The devil 🐍 has thrown us into intoxication of confusion 😔
    This is the written account of Adam’s line. Ever inclination of their hearts 🖤 from childhood
    Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me”
    A prophet ? Yes,I tell you,and more than a prophet.
    This is one about whom it is written :
    “I will send my messenger ahead of you,who will prepare the way before you….

  2. Hi – it’s a great initiative – however; you may also need to involve some parents in the conversation as most of the day is spent at home. In addition, some parents are still kids themselves and are in desperate need of guidance/direction.

    Communication is paramount and some folk lack ability to communicate effectively. Instead, they tend to contribute to an already existing situation thereby making it worst. For example when you tell a child “you are just like your father” who may not be a good example it creates esteem issues and hinders progress in development.

    Good luck and Godspeed.

  3. Jesus is the answer for the world today. Mr. Cherry one of the most important things to engage our Young minds in is prayer and having a personal relationship with God. Everything else you try Will fail, some Young people are demon possessed and they need to be freed. Thé more we put God first, then we will have a better country.

    • So your strategy to save the youth from criminal brainwashing is religious brainwashing?

      We have a long way to go in this country when there are still so many people who believe the antithesis to criminality must be Christianity and nothing else. Wake up.

  4. Respect to you Dr. Cherry…believe your school history is similar to mine. You know how them baldheads be. Takes one to know one…I know of your outcast…I thyself had dreads as did thy beloved father. We are not the brightest…however persistant…And we remain the same in a traditional sense; can still chill on the block and talk the same language. Keep strong Dr. Cherry; much help is needed in the communities.

  5. Dr. Cherry, could you inform us what you have your doctorate in, and from which university?

    • I concur. I have always wondered. Maybe it’s honorary, after all, he does good work, has good intentions, ideas, and a passion for helping the St Lucian youth progress in the right direction.
      Maybe someone can enlighten us.

  6. Thank you Dr. Cherry for a very valiant effort, thanks for providing a safety Net for the young, St. Lucia – and many of the Islands would welcome such initiative – well thought of at a time such as this. May the good Lord empower you with His Blessings in this venture.

  7. Lu
    Thank you Dr Cherry for a very important service needed so very much in our Island. Many people believe that children are not worthy and can be treated like animals. Trust me I know what i am stating is that we have a broken society and the children have been paying the ultimate price. This initiative is fantastic and i wish you success. There should be a program in place for parents at risk. Thank you and i wih you success with the program.

  8. Thanks Dr.Cherry, this is what we need more of! An You’re doin more than u realize, Give Thanks🙏🏽🇱🇨👊🏽🇬🇳

  9. Very good initiative RISE. Keep doing as you are.
    Our society is very broken, and our kids are the ones feeling it. They are suffering silently. Many are lost, even those who come from ‘proper homes’. A lot contemplate suicide….they are not sure where or to whom to turn…’s tragic…

Comments are closed.


Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

Send this to a friend