A Glim­mer of Hope for the Na­tion’s Youth

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Star Re­porter

The South­east­ern Caribbean Col­lege (SCC St. Lu­cia) was proud to launch its new­est project from the its es­tab­lish­ment on Thurs­day 25th May 2017. The Hope Cen­tre, lo­cated at the Mor­gan Build­ing in Sans Souci, has been in op­er­a­tion since Oc­to­ber 1, 2016 but it was of­fi­cially launched to the pub­lic on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Mem­bers of the SCC di­rec­tor­ship, along­side of­fi­cials from var­i­ous gov­ern­ment min­istries, and so­cial work­ers were in at­ten­dance at this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion.

The pur­pose of the Hope Cen­tre is to ad­dress the many so­cial is­sues from which youth and fam­i­lies suf­fer in this present day. Through re­search and learn­ing at SCC and the ser­vice of coun­sel­lors and so­cial work­ers, the Hope Cen­tre will pro­vide fam­i­lies with the re­sources to pre­vent them from be­com­ing dys­func­tional or to aid with dam­age al­ready done.

Rev­erend Wal­trude Dantes, Chair­man of SCC board of di­rec­tors, en­cour­ag­ingly com­mented: “Our hope is that all Saint Lu­cians will take the op­por­tu­nity to uti­lize this tool and ex­pe­ri­ence whole­some­ness in fam­ily.”

Pres­i­dent of SCC, Rev­erend Zif­fus James, be­gan his ad­dress ref­er­enc­ing the shoot­ing in Babon­neau on Wednesday night. Both SCC and gov­ern­ment agree that from statis­tics, re­search and ob­ser­va­tion of crimes such as mur­der, ju­ve­nile delin­quency and sui­cide, Saint Lu­cia is in need of all the help pos­si­ble and it should be­gin in the most fun­da­men­tal unit in so­ci­ety; the fam­ily.

James noted; “There is a crit­i­cal need for us to pro­tect our chil­dren, for us to res­cue our youth and for us to pro­vide strong sup­port to our fam­i­lies. We have to think se­ri­ously about pro­vid­ing strong so­cial in­ter­ven­tions for our peo­ple so that they will be whole as in­di­vid­u­als, as fam­i­lies and as com­mu­ni­ties.”

The staff are go­ing to fo­cus on both re­build­ing and de­vel­op­ing healthy re­la­tion­ships and by en­sur­ing coun­selling groups are avail­able in com­mu­ni­ties to ad­dress is­sues of sui­ci­dal thoughts, men­tal ill­ness, in­ad­e­quate par­ent­ing skills and to help pro­vide cop­ing mech­a­nisms. In­ter­ven­tions for child­hood de­pres­sion/anx­i­ety, At­ten­tionD­eficit/Hyper­ac­tiv­ity Dis­or­der (ADHD), emo­tional and be­haviourial disor­ders, and men­tal/emo­tional dis­tur­bance are pro­vided at the Hope Cen­tre. There will also be train­ing for in­di­vid­u­als in­ter­ested in be­com­ing coun­sel­lors or pas­tors.

The South­east­ern Caribbean Col­lege opened its doors in Vieux Fort in 2011 and since then has equipped all its stu­dents with re­source­ful skills to con­trib­ute in com­mu­ni­ties in var­i­ous forms. The Hope Project is more tan­gi­ble and ac­ces­si­ble, and is meant to be more cat­alytic in its progress than SCC’s pre­vi­ous work. The board, staff, stu­dents and Min­istry of Eq­uity, So­cial Jus­tice, Em­pow­er­ment, Youth De­vel­op­ment, Sports, and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment are ex­cited about the new en­deav­our. Although they have al­ready been re­ceiv­ing plenty of sup­port from com­mu­ni­ties, they look for­ward to ex­pand­ing their work in the near fu­ture.

To con­tact the Hope Cen­tre call 452-7973, email sc­chope@ hot­mail.com or visit the Hope Cen­tre in Sans Souci, Cas­tries.

L to R: Rev. Zif­fus James (SCC Pres­i­dent), Shelly-Ann James (SCC Di­rec­tor), Tanzia Tous­saint (Di­rec­tor of So­cial Trans­for­ma­tion), Rev. Wal­trude Dantes.

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