(April 15, 2008)
Over 100 primary school age students on Nevis were admonished to take heed to the lessons which encompassed the value of safety that they would receive and to utilise them to enhance their lives and that of those around them.
The advice came from Minister of Youth and Social Transformation in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hensley Daniel on April 14, 2008, at the start of the annual week long Easter Camp organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs at the St. Thomas Primary School. The theme for the activity is “Nurturing strong minds in a safe environment; safety first”.
“At the moment the society is changing where people are tending towards violence, crime and fighting and I want you as participants in this programme with a focus on safety first to be able to make that difference. Nobody who comes to this Easter Camp must be involved in a fight in school nobody who comes to Camp must be in a gang. We want you to be good examples and “¦share with all of your friends and all of the other students”¦
“As you go through the week bear in mind that all the people who have come to make presentations they have come because they have your interest at heart. They have come because they want to help promote the orderly development of young people and I want you to think very seriously as they say to you they want you, there are over 100 of you to be good examples for the others who were not able to attend,” he said.
Mr. Daniel, who was involved in the Camp as Director in its inception 15 years ago, noted that the Camp was organised to assist the participants to make wise decisions. He said the Ministry was pleased to restart the programme in spite of its many stops and starts over the years.
The Minister encouraged the participants to enjoy the camp and told them they should bear in mind that the Camp was a privileged opportunity for them because the NIA had recognised the importance of the safety, guidance and care of the young people of Nevis. He said the programme had produced a number of responsible students and expected that trend to continue.
Ms. Claudia Walwyn Youth Affairs Coordinator told the participants they would be given the opportunity to observe a number of persons at work and how they kept the island safe.
“We think that you have strong minds and we want to make sure that you keep it that way that you stay on the straight path, that you do things that will keep you safe, your country safe, keep your family safe and in essence keep the whole of Nevis safe.
She told the participants that they would have presentations from various sectors which would include the Police Services, the HIV Unit and the Coast Guard.
“We will be talking to different people who would engage you in things that would keep you safe. We have people from the Police services talking about drugs, crime and how to prevent these things. We have people from the HIV Unit and we have the Coast Guard coming over and we will get a trip on board the Coast Guard [boat],” he said.
Director of Social Affairs Ms. Sandra Maynard complemented the participants and urged then to learn all they could from the sessions and to pass them on. She told them too that they were a special group of children since they were a part of the longest running children’s programme of the NIA.
She further urged then to be on good behaviour; listen attentively; learn as much as they could; share what they learnt with friends who were not present and to have fun during the camp.
She also commended a number of persons who had contributed to the programme.
“This programme started way back in 1993 and we are celebrating Youth Month and I would like to remember some of the earliest coordinators that worked with this programme ““ Jacqueline Brandy, Elquemedo Willett, the late Merlin Huggins and our very own Ms Claudia Walwyn,” she said.