The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government, and Empowerment is realizing gains with the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
The holistic intervention project focuses on at-risk youth.
The Youth Empowerment Project is being piloted via a multifaceted approach in the constituency of Central Castries and consists of several programs including the Integrated Court Diversion Program, the Integrated Community-Based Transformation Programme, Employability Enhancement Initiatives and the Parenting Programme, amongst others.
To execute the Parenting Programme, the YEP is collaborating with the Division of Human Services. Director of Human Services, Mrs. Beverly-Ann Poyotte, provided details of the Parenting Programme.
“Based on anecdotal evidence and some statistics, it is recognized that for many young persons who find themselves in conflict with the law or exhibit behaviors that we don’t expect, there tended to be some issues with parenting—either a lack of supervision, absent parents, or a lack of ability to parent properly. And so, the Youth Empowerment Project reached out to the Division of Human Services asking for assistance in strategizing how to implement this within the various communities.
“Over the past few months we have been putting this programme together to see how we can reach out to the parents within the four target communities, and how we can assist parents who are already clients of the Division of Human Services.”
A train the trainers programme will be rolled out for parents. The aim is to equip parents with the skills required to provide a proper upbringing and reduce at-risk behaviours in children.
“We want to provide parents with information that will assist them with raising their children, and not allow the children’s environments to be the cause of certain behaviours. We would really like to see some kind of synergy between nature and nurture. So yes, a child’s environment can trigger certain behaviours but there is also a nurturing aspect where parents within the communities can properly parent all of the children within that community.”