PRESS RELEASE – The Sandals Foundation-funded Positive Youth Anticipation (PYA) Project has successfully completed its second of three youth development programmes geared towards positively impacting the lives and future of at-risk boys between the ages of 14 and 16 in Saint Lucia.
Approximately 33 young men from several secondary schools from the Castries and Gros Islet areas completed the second leg of the programme. George Charles Secondary, Bocage Secondary, Corinth Secondary, Marigot Secondary and Gros Islet Secondary were among the participating schools.
They were exposed a range of self-motivating initiatives including SWOT analysis and business plan development, conflict management, and the need for consistent motivation and self-talk.
Visits to the Boredelais Correctional Facility, which afforded the young men first hand insight into the prison, were also included.
According to PYA Project Manager Janelle Sealy, students registered for the programme had displayed considerable difficulty managing their anger.
She also noted that 65 per cent of the students stated that their lifestyles were challenging, while 95 percent of the overall attendees said they face a challenge in submitting to authority.
Sealy said: “Despite these challenges though, a number of young men have committed themselves to making the necessary changes. I am proud them for that. We are doing a good thing here and hopefully we will be able to extend this program to more schools and more boys across the island.”
Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke said the Sandals Foundation was pleased with the ongoing successes of the PYA program.
“We partnered with this programme in 2014 with the intention of it being a promising exercise for the young men, and ultimately their respective communities,” Clarke said. “We’re pleased with the participation and results that we’re seeing.”
The Sandals Foundation has committed EC$45,000 to the PYA initiative, which is being executed in three phases correlating with the three terms per school year.
So far, the programme, which is being administered by The School of Business Entrepreneurs (TSOBE), has impacted the lives of 80 young men over the past two school terms.