Wards from the Boys Training Centre Graduate from Massy Stores and St Lucia Social Development Fund’s “Our Boys Matter” Pilot Programme
20 June, 2018
Author: Sariah Best-Joseph

The St Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) and Massy Stores on Thursday 1 st February2018, joined hands with the Boys Training Centre (BTC) and the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) to undergo a pilot programme, as an introduction to our comprehensive “Our Boys Matter” initiative that is being developed for secondary school boys. This pilot programme offered Personal Enhancement Training (P.E.T.) and mentorship for wards at the BTC. The fifteen-week long programme provided training to boys in self-management, conflict resolution, communications, healthy lifestyles, employability, and job search and decision-making skills. It is anticipated that through this initiative that the wards at the BTC will be the beneficiaries of badly needed psychosocial support. Early and adequate psychosocial support can prevent distress and suffering from developing into something more severe, and meet community-identified needs that will contribute to the rebuilding of social structures. It is expected also that this intervention will help change the wards into active survivors rather than passive victims.

Thirteen wards graduated on Wednesday June 22nd with a certification in Personal Enhancement Training from the Nationals Skills Development Centre, with an endorsement from the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable development. Certified wards are expected to use their acquired knowledge for the advancement of personal growth and holistic development, build self confidence that would enable them to be more assertive in their approachtowards life, and a general positive approach to life. Apprenticeship, mentorship and remedial literacy support will be provided to the wards.

At-risk young men need a positive environment that is conducive for them to change. As asociety concerned with the welfare of young people, we need to commit to a level of attentionand care, to foster the positive environment needed by vulnerable teens from impoverished communities. SSDF is very grateful for Massy Stores’ response to our private sector partnership; through the intervention of providing this much needed programme to the wards at BTC. Massy Stores is SSDF’s initiating partner and main sponsor for the “Our Boys Matter”pilot programme. Hon. Lenard Montoute (Parliamentary Representative for Gros Islet and Minister of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment) as well as the partners of this initiative, namely Massy Stores, SSDF, BTC and NSDC look forward to more life enriching programmes for the wards as we work together to uplift lives and transform the most vulnerable communities.

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