Youth Groups Praised By CARICOM For Work On HIV-AIDS

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 18, 2010 (SKNIS)

The Youth Desk of the CARICOM Secretariat and the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) is impressed with the work of youth groups in St. Kitts and Nevis implementing Round II of the Mini-Grant Progamme (MGP).

CARICOM Secretariat’s Deputy Programme Manager for Community Development (Youth), Dr. Heather Johnson, delivered that message on Tuesday (June 15), as she met with Permanent Secretary responsible for youth, Lloyd Lazar, CARICOM Youth Ambassador (CYA) Ian Richards and Community Officer Terry Morris.

“We are impressed with the scope of the projects,” said Dr. Johnson, as she recounted the activities of the two projects being implemented locally. “We feel that there is some good work being done here and it comes at a critical time.”

The regional official highlighted that the projects are innovative in capturing the interest of young people using drama, song and dance. This youth friendly format should boost the impact of the knowledge sharing exercises.

This is evident in the initiative being implemented by the Community Leaders Advancing Molineux and Phillips’ (CLAMP) group. They successfully hosted an HIV/AIDS quiz contested by five churches in the area. Other ongoing activities include creating a safe play area for children that will display HIV/AIDS messages and an informational dispenser unit.

The CLAMP youth group will also stage a dramatization featuring scenarios related to the spread of the pandemic and how to avoid contracting the virus.

Youth representatives from the local Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle Programme (CHLP) are implementing the second initiative under the PANCAP/CYA administered Mini-Grant Programme. The project focuses on educating young men about the dangers of HIV/AIDS with a view to promote behavioural change.

St. Kitts and Nevis participated in the first round of the MGP in 2005. Two projects were implemented by a coalition of youth groups at that time. In June 2007, the CARICOM Secretariat released an official review and assessment of the MGP which stated that St. Kitts and Nevis distinguished itself by having the best overall implementation in the region.

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