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149 youngsters graduate from SVG Coastguard Summer Programme

149 youngsters graduate from SVG Coastguard  Summer Programme

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The 149 youngsters from across the nation who participated in this year’s SVG Coastguard Youth Development Summer Programme were, on Saturday, August 31, awarded with certificates of participation.{{more}}

The programme, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, saw parents and well-wishers in attendance at the Calliaqua base for the official closing.

Sharing brief remarks, Chief Petty Officer Vinton John said the programme commenced July 13 and was conducted in three phases.

Phase one of the programme ran from July 15 to 20; phase two ran from July 29 to August 3; and Phase three ran from August 12 to 17.

According to John, the teens participated in a number of areas, including personal development, navigation and seamanship, substance abuse prevention, boat handling, fisheries conservation, leadership development, solid waste management, human sexuality and first aid.

They also participated in swimming, a picnic and a trip to Bequia, compliments Sunsail.

One of the participants, Shaquille Lewis, gave a brief reflection of his time at this year’s camp.

Lewis said the camp served as an opportunity to make friends and learn about one another.

He boasted also about overcoming his fear of the water during their trip to Bequia.

Lewis congratulated the officers for doing a wonderful job throughout the programme and expressed gratitude to them for accommodating the participants.

Acting Commissioner of Police Michael Charles said the programme is arguably the summer programme of choice among teenagers.

He said the Coastguard summer programme and the summer programmes of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force have been impacting positively in the lives of the participants.

He noted that some of this country’s prominent lawyers, businessmen and members of parliament, have participated in the Coastguard’s programme.

“This programme is one of the venues to build long-term friendships… I trust and pray that this youth development summer programme continues for 20 more years and beyond, as we strive to shape our youth for life’s high seas,” Charles stated.

Some of the participants entertained the gathering with two songs.

Featured speaker, veterinarian in the Ministry of Agriculture Monica Davis, said after participating in the programme some 20 years ago, she was convinced that she wanted to pursue a career in the Coastguard.

However, this was not to be.

“Unfortunately for the young ladies who had big hopes of becoming Able Seamen, the facility did not provide for women to be part of the Coastguard,” she said.

That has since changed.

Today, the Coastguard has 16 women within their ranks.

Davis told the participants that just like the high seas with their changing tides, life is filled with a series of challenges that change from day to day.

“The more challenges you will overcome, the more you will face. For that is all in the process of growth and self-development,” Davis said.

“Every day of your life is an exam. Every day, you either pass or fail the test of life. Every day is an opportunity to grow beyond your present barriers and circumstances… Whatever you do with your lives now, will dictate the eventual outcome of your life’s goals and the shape of your tomorrow,” Davis added.

Davis urged the participants not to procrastinate and make use of the opportunities that come their way.

The programme was held under the theme: “20 years, shaping our nation’s youth for life’s high seas”.(KW)

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