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It can help develop ‘at risk’ youths—Kamla
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says that mentoring can impact society in a profound way. Persad-Bissessar made the statement yesterday at the launch of the National Mentoring Programme at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA, Port-of-Spain. The programme was established in October last year by an inter-ministerial committee, comprising the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of the People and Social Development, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education.
Persad-Bissessar said: “This programme is an economic and efficient strategy in assisting the youth of T&T in holistic development. “Globally, the economic benefits of investing in children, especially at risk children is well documented. “By fully investing today in youth, who are in danger of falling into a life of crime, we will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations.” The programme would be based in centres across T&T, including the Chaguanas Regional Complex, Woodbrook Youth Facility, Port-of-Spain, Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima, Bethel/Plymouth Youth Centre and a venue in South Trinidad, yet to be decided upon. “The first phase of mentor-training will begin on May 25 and 170 mentors already have been screen for the programme,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She said mentors would be trained in a wide range of topics, including life skills and would help mentees with social problems they may face. Under the programme mentors are matched with mentees depending on specific needs and relationships.
Mentoring sessions are to be held in mentoring centres with the supervision of monitoring officers, with planned social activities. “The reality is that we will never be able to turn around our crime situation unless these at risk youths are given the opportunity to change the stigma that is attached to them,” she added. Persad-Bissessar said the programme would assist by giving that group, the love, care and the knowledge that someone believed in their ability to change. She also encouraged the citizens of T&T to get involved in the programme, run by the Ministry of National Security and to lend support to it. (DA)
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