Attorney Kevin Ratiram, who launched the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation in 2012 to help vulnerable youth, says it has been an uplifting, emotional journey.
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Taking discipline to the dogs
“When God cyah come he does send a man.” That is a saying to which most Trinidadians are accustomed.
However in the case of Darian Ace Ramesar, one of his biggest positive influences did not take human form, but came in the form of a canine.
Ramesar, 19, of Waterloo Road, Carapichaima, works at the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (Ytepp) as a fish technician and is very focused about his future endeavours.
He is also presently pursuing an associate degree in water management and water technology.
Ramesar insists that the key to success is to be disciplined and hard working.
One factor that has played an instrumental role in his own personal successes is his involvement in the Independent Kennel Club (IKC) and its work with dogs.
Established in 2012, the IKC, was formed to encourage people to be more friendly to canines and also to create a positive environment for young people where they could feel welcome.
Speaking at one of the club’s training sessions held at the Ste Madeleine secondary school recently, Ramesar, who has been a part of the organisation for almost a year, said that the benefits of the club are numerous.
The teen, who is the owner of a doberman and three pit bulls, trains his dogs to compete in various dog shows and continued that he uses the events to help him in the other aspects of his life.
“I use the (dog) shows for discipline because there is a strict dress code in the ring.
“I have to be obedient and disciplined and this could be incorporated in my everyday life.”
He explained that joining the club and working with dogs can help to encourage more youths to do something constructive instead of being idle and on the streets.
“The kennel club has helped me with my focus and in school.
“I look forward to coming here and working with my dog. This is a stress reliever and it helps me relax,” he said, adding that it was also an effective way to help deal with social issues by interacting with people.
“If I were to give any advice to my peers, I would tell them to get involved in something that will impact on them positively instead of doing something that they would regret.”
IKC secretary Keisha Fourniller-Subhaw, shared Ramesar’s sentiments, saying that working with dogs would help teach young people the value of respecting life.
Fourniller-Subhaw, who is also the IKC junior co-ordinator, said one of the club’s aims is to target delinquent youths and encourage them to participate in “dog sports.”
“We hope that they would see it as an alternative or a deterrent to a life of crime,” she said.