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Four communities to pilot community after school programmes

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Contact: Julita Peter


Tuesday,  June 16, 2009 –  The Ministry of Social  Transformation is well on its way to implementing a Community After School Programme as a response to a number of challenges facing young people particularly in marginalized communities.


The programme is also designed to address deviant behaviours among children and youth, and bring about a decline in poverty and unemployment. The Community Services Unit of the Ministry of Social Transformation will be responsible for implementing the programme which will be launched in July 2009.


Participants will get the opportunity to delve into the areas of sports, skills straining, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), creative arts and other personal enrichment activities. 


“The Ministry of Social Transformation believes that such a programme can actually provide the requisite environment to engage people—particularly children and youth—in development activities using various means,” said Deputy Director for Social Transformation Velda Joseph.


The Organization of American States (OAS), the Ministry of Social Transformation, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, symbolizing the OAS support of the Community After School Programme, to which it is providing partial funding of over seventy-seven thousand United States dollars, under its Special Multi-lateral Fund for Integrated Development.


OAS representative to Saint Lucia Anne Marie Blackman said the Community After School Programme is very promising.


“It should compliment the efforts of the Government of Saint Lucia, policy makers and other stakeholders in meeting the demands for wholesome, healthy and particularly productive activities in which young people could participate after school hours and as part of their interaction with their community,” said Blackman.


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Transformation Donavan Williams described his ministry’s mandate as a very simple but challenging one.  He noted that the present socio-economic situation calls for urgent action.


“That action has to be targeted, innovative, engaging of the persons we are trying to assist, proactive and above all empowering.  I think the After School Programme when you look at the concept design has all of these concepts.


The Community After School Programme will run for a period of two years in the first phase, and will target one hundred and sixty participants from the communities of Faux- A-Chaud, La Maz Choiseul, Mon Repos and Monchy.

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