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More programmes needed for youths

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08.FEB.08

Editor: Being a Vincentian living abroad, I eagerly await news of my country each week through the Searchlight. Unfortunately, I am sad to read of all the unnecessary violence and killings, especially ones involving the youth.{{more}} I am equally dismayed to read of our youth being incarcerated for long periods of time.

I would like to see our country have a long-range vision to help solve this problem. Youth are vital to the development of our country. They are precious resources. There are no winners on either side when it comes to violence – the families that lose their sons during a violent act, and the families who lose when their sons are locked up both suffer.

Programmes are needed for our school leavers to enter the workforce adequately prepared. This will get them occupied with a future plan. When youth land in trouble and before sentences are handed down, a social service evaluation can be done to determine the best way to manage the futures of these young men. Harsh sentences do nothing for them or our country. Rehabilitation and counseling for individuals will help them and everyone as well.

We pay the price when we let our youth get involved in dangerous situations that lead to loss of life, and then again when other lives are wasted in jail. I would love to read about government programmes that train the youth with practical skills and trades; sports development opportunities; and programmes for our countrymen in prison that enable them to finish school and leave with a second chance to contribute to St Vincent.

Gideon Jack
Wellington, New Zealand

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