Premier Parry Speaking At March
June 17, 2008
Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry and his Deputy Hon. Hensley Daniel hailed the Wesleyan Holiness Church in St. Kitts and Nevis for their efforts to out to the youths in a move to make future model citizens of them. Their commendations came during the launch of the Christian Life Club (CLC) on June 14, 2008 at the Memorial Square in Charlestown.
“I believe I have reason to be optimistic and I have reason for hope because people in government, in the field of religion, in society as a whole have now begun to rally to save our young people and to save our country and this is a good sign.
“So I want to commend the church on its 100th anniversary, the church for its consciousness and for its efforts to do something about the situation in Nevis and on St. Kitts. I want to commend all of us who are not only aware and conscious of what is going wrong but for taking action and for taking action now. Now is the time for action, now is the time for all of us in all walks of life to make sure that we jump in, get into action and save our country. I would say down with guns, down with drugs, down with poor behaviour down with gangs,” Mr. Parry said.
The Club is a church programme in a club type ministry for children aged 4-12 which is focused on Jesus. It has been rooted in scripture, emphasised salvation and prioritized discipleship. The excellence orientated ministry was designed to bring children to Christ and to disciple them at four levels: Trackers for children ages 4-5, Pathfinders from Grade 1-2, Trailblazers from Grades 3-4 and Pacesetters from Grades 5-6.
Mr. Daniel urged adults to volunteer their time to guide young people through to their adolescent years and beyond since many had gone of course once they attained the age of 12.
“The effort to guide the young people must be sustained”¦We must bear in mind the children need ouur care and direction up until age 18 and 20 and beyond given all the challenges and the countervailing forces. I am saying to the parents and adults please keep the lid on the children throughout their adolescence.
“I am speaking against the backdrop that the Prison population of young men [whose] average age in prison is barely 20. It means that we are having too many of our young people behind bars and many of them were in our churches. I am saying to us the time has come for us to arrest that problem,” he said.
Mr. Daniel said the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) was aware of the situation and would continue to work with the churches, private sector, non governmental organisations and all other arms of civil society to make sure that today’s children became responsible adults for everyone on the island.
“I want to say to the adults that when we give up an hour of our time that what we are doing is in essence investing in our own future security. We will want that when we become 60 and 70 years old the present generation of young people will so conduct themselves that we can continue to live in peace and tranquility,” he said.
Mr. Daniel also said the Administration was satisfied with the measures it had put in place with regard to early intervention to arrest social problems. He said there were a range of programmes and invited the CLC to make use of opportunities offered by the Ministry of Social Development.
“I also know that we have in the Ministry of Social Development a Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle project which aims to guide young people using sport, drama and dance and I am sure the Christian Life Club can find some similarity with that programme and would be able to work with our Department staff in guiding our young people,” he said.