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USAID donates US$40,000 worth of equipment to three juvenile facilities

USAID donates US$40,000 worth of equipment to three juvenile facilities

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Three juvenile facilities in St Vincent and the Grenadines were recipients of various pieces of equipment, collectively valued at US$40,000.{{more}}

Under the Juvenile Justice Reform Project by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre, Student Support Services and the Guadelupe Home for Girls received equipment that includes computers, sewing machines, culinary arts utensils and filing cabinets.

At the handing-over ceremony, which was held on July 26, representative of the OECS, director of Social and Sustainable Development Bentley Browne stated that the OECS secretariat is committed to making sure that focus is placed on juvenile development in order to deal with some of the juvenile justice issues.

“We are very pleased to provide, in response to the government… some level of assistance in the provision of equipment, goods and supplies which we feel go a long way towards helping our young people,” Browne said.

Browne outlined several aspects of the project, with one of them being the modernization of the administration of the juvenile system, by incorporating restorative approaches to offenders, looking at alternative sentencing options and resolving some of the disputes that youths are involved in.

“What we are trying to do as much as possible is for those who have been in conflict with the law, to try to see how much we can restore them and to keep them off that path,” he said. “And ensure that others, who may have that tendency, avoid going along that road.”

He also stated that he hopes the equipment will be used in the correct manner.

“We are hoping that the equipment provided will be used for the purpose that they were intended and that the beneficiaries will realize long and significant benefits as a result of the use of these facilities,” Browne said.

The OECS representative also thanked USAID for their support, which allowed the handover of the equipment to take place.

On behalf of the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Minister of National Mobilization Frederick Stephenson expressed sincere gratitude to the OECS and USAID for the donation of supplies.

“We want to say that the Ministry is committed to the children of St Vincent and the Grenadines… we’re committed to assisting whenever and wherever possible… in any way we can, we seek to do what is best for the children of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the Minister said.

The Juvenile Justice Reform project was initiated in St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2012 and is expected to be completed by September 2014. This activity was one of the four stages of the project and it facilitates the delivering of necessary equipment to stakeholders which is needed to develop social and life skills in the nation’s youth.

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