(PRESS RELEASE) – Schools, principals, counsellors, parents, students, government agencies and sponsors like the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) are living the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” In that spirit, they have come together to provide an opportunity for at-risk male youth in the “Our Boys Matter” programme.
Administered by the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), the programme provides psychological and social intervention in the areas of parenting, life skills training, mentorship, assessment and intervention of the family dynamics, housing and educational assistance as needed.
“Our Boys Matter” began in early 2018 as a pilot programme at the Boys Training Centre where wards were mentored and given enhancement training.
In August 2018, the pilot was extended to 100 boys from seven secondary schools across the island including Gros Islet Secondary, Bocage Secondary and Ciceron Secondary School. The participants were selected by school counsellors based on academic performance and socio-economic background. It is expected that this intervention among the under-performing and impoverished boys will help change them into active survivors rather than passive victims.
The formal launch of the programme was done in January 2019.
Speaking at the launch, LUCELEC Managing Director Trevor Louisy said by its very design, “Our Boys Matter” can change lives.
“This programme appears to replicate that community effort through its multi-faceted approach. It suggests a well thought out plan with an increased likelihood of success. We may not turn around all the boys in the programme but we would have provided opportunities that they may not have had otherwise,” he said.
Already, the programme is demonstrating some success in improving school attendance, performance, behaviour, and skills among boys enrolled in it.
This is the second major investment in the last few months LUCELEC has made to improve the quality of life for young people in select communities. The first was the RISE St. Lucia ‘Safe Spaces’ initiative to create safe physical and emotional spaces for the nurturing of children, fostering business and improving the quality of life in select communities.
Between these two programmes LUCELEC has invested $100,000 in financial support in the hope of making a difference in the lives of our young people.