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Youth mentoring in the Caribbean
Published on June 21, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Youth mentoring is a very effective tool to be utilized in the development of young people and the Caribbean Mentorship Institute (CMI) has partnered with Caribbean Airlines Limited to train students of the Jordan Hill Presbyterian Primary School in Trinidad.

As part of its mentoring program, students, teachers and parents attended a three-day bullying prevention workshop, which was developed to sensitize young people to the nature of bullying and effective bullying Intervention methods. The three-day workshop focused on peer mentoring, bullying prevention and leadership skills.

Felicia Browne
The president of CMI, Felicia Browne, said that the private and public sectors must work together to curb the level of violence amongst youth. Browne is convinced that parents, guardians, the private and public sector and those in charge of the youth, should play a greater role in the development of young people by encouraging them to become good role models in their schools, homes and communities.

“We must play our part as positive mentors to foster greater changes in the attitudes of our youths,” Browne said.

She emphasized that mentoring programs must take a holistic approach to provide young minds with the guidance, leadership and supervision needed to shape a more prosperous and successful future. They must be guided to engage in more reflective interactions with their peers and community members, she added.

The leadership workshop in Trinidad focused primarily on bullying and intervention practices. Bullying, Browne said, has become a problem of growing concern affecting young people across the region. Browne pointed out that bullying occurs in various forms and can have devastating long term effects, not only on the social and learning abilities of the individual exhibiting bullying traits, but also on the victim/s as well.

Browne added that the organization aims to educate participants on mentoring techniques that are effective and can produce positive solutions and reactions in the daily lives of young people. Thus far, Browne said, the CMI has favourably responded to numerous social interventions including summer mentoring training for youth across the region.

She pointed out that Saint Lucia has now implemented a mentoring program in its school curriculum. Barbados has also recently implemented bullying policies in schools across the country.

Browne noted, “These mentoring programs are necessary for our youth -- especially our young males because they need our guidance, encouragement and support.”

Mentoring is still one of the most effective solutions for youth development combined with good guidance from peers, family members and communities. The CMI president is convinced that everyone can make a difference in the life of a young person.
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