July 18, 2008
Local Coast Guard empowering youths

One thousand four hundred and seventy five (1,475) persons have participated in the Coast Guard Youth Development Programme, and to date, none of their names have ever surfaced in criminal activity.{{more}}

Lieutenant Commander Brenton Cain, head of the Coast Guard, proudly made the disclosure at the opening of the 2008 Coast Guard Youth Development Phase One Summer Programme, which commenced last Monday morning.

“Most of the persons are working at the banks, some are here at the Coast Guard and others are living a positive life in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. That was the aim of the programme and we have fulfilled our aim,” said Cain. He also used the opportunity to express thanks to the sponsors who have been making the programme possible over the years.

Cain stated that the programme started in 1993 under the then Commander, David Robin and his officers, who saw the need for the Coast Guard to intervene into the social affairs of young Vincentians.

“We saw it fit to start the programme so that we can empower some of the youths with some discipline and positive goals so that they can desist from crime,” said the Lieutenant Commander.

Chief Petit Officer Vinton John, who is heading the programme for the fifth consecutive year, outlined that the first section of the programme will run from July 14th-July 19th; Phase Two: July 28th-August 2nd; and Phase Three: August 11th- August 16th. He added that this year’s programme will accommodate 120 participants, 40 in each phase.

John, who was expected to give a Lecture yesterday on ‘Safety at Sea’, also conducted the programme’s orientation and reminded the participants, mainly teenagers, to enjoy themselves but to remember to be disciplined and responsible in their activities.

The programme, in its 15th year of existence, covers: History of the Coast Guard; Personal Development; Navigation/Seamanship; Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention; Conflict Resolution; Small Boat Handling; Leadership Development; Conservation; Knots and Splices; Human Sexuality; Safety at Sea; Craft Work; Solid Waste Management; First Aid; and Swimming.

The programme is sponsored for yet another year by insurance company Sagicor which made a donation of $4,500, and the National Commercial Bank (NCB) which gave $4,000.

Victor Peters, of Sagicor, and Cheryl Rodriguez, of the National Commercial Bank, encouraged the participants to make the most of the opportunity that has been afforded them. They explained that the exposure to the wide ranging issues that will be covered during the programme will significantly contribute to their overall development.(HN)