YECA urges youths to become community leaders
September 24, 2013

YECA urges youths to become community leaders

Forty-five individuals are learning to become leaders in their community, by being a part of the Youth Empowered for Community Action (YECA) programme.{{more}}

YECA is a programme that was developed to empower youths to work together in an effort to solve issues that they are faced with on a regular basis. The programme, which began in 2012, had an official opening ceremony for 2013, last Friday, at the Grace and Truth Camp Ground at Layou.

Political activist Junior Bacchus is one of the persons involved in the programme and he told SEARCHLIGHT that he is very happy to see how participants in YECA have developed.

“The whole background to having YECA and training young people is to prepare leaders in all the communities throughout St Vincent,” Bacchus said.

Bacchus highlighted that participants have the opportunity to gain social, financial and economic skills, which will in turn help them to build their self-confidence and volunteer in their communities.

“I believe that the 100 or so young people we have impacted on so far, down the road, you’re going to see a difference being made in the communities where they’re from,” he said.

As part of the programme, participants have the chance to design a community service project whether it is in health, socio-economic or environmental categories.

The activist acknowledged that although groups carried out their projects in the form of HIV/AIDS workshops and beach clean-ups, there were some difficulties.

“It went generally well, but some of them had some challenges, because they didn’t have the resources,” he said.

Despite this, a large number of persons are taking part in this year’s programme.

Justene Farrell, one of the group leaders, was a part of a training programme in July and told SEARCHLIGHT that she had always wanted to be a part of a youth programme like this one.

Farrell, who is also a girl guide, hopes that she can be a good leader for her group and impart as much knowledge as she can on them.

“I hope that I can share my knowledge enough with everybody else…so that they can learn as much as I learned and that we can carry out a successful community service project at the end of the training,” the fourth form student said.

Math and accounts teacher Odion Hillocks, is anticipating that “persons can stop seeing us as the problem and see us as a solution.

“I hope to be a tower of support for my youths and be there for anything that the youths need and basically impart whatever knowledge I can on them,” the group leader said.

YECA is hosting two overnight, weekend summits this year.

The first one began on September 20 and ended on September 22, while the other will be held from October 4 to October 6. (BK)