Yesterday we met Denzel Matthew, a 16-year-old boy from Dominica who turned his life around to help others. The help he is providing to younger children is greatly needed in that country, as well as in nearby St. Vincent in the Caribbean.
ChildFund Caribbean, which runs programs in both Dominica and St. Vincent, reported recently that violence among youth in schools has become a major issue.
“The youth are expressing their restlessness through violence with each other, their teachers, parents and even community members,” says ChildFund Caribbean National Director Francis Joseph. “The list of juvenile offenders is increasing in each country.”
However, there are signs of hope, as you read about yesterday with Denzel. The photography course is just one example of how ChildFund programs work to give youth alternative ways of expressing themselves without turning to violence.
“Consistently from one school to the next, we saw youth becoming friends and finding that common passion for life, for a skill, for opportunity given, for the chance to see life and see their future in a different light,” Francis says.
Youth who participate in ChildFund programs typically become closer to their parents and caregivers; many become more actively engaged in learning.
“Many of them are now excited about being at school. This is a small step we’re taking toward a long-term partnership with the youth through their school system to get them excited about learning, leadership and self-improvement,” Francis says.
For more information about these two countries, click here.
More on St. Vincent and Dominica
ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 36,000 children and families
Did You Know?: St. Vincent and the Grenadines are celebrating 30 years of independence in 2009, following centuries of French and British rule. St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the last of the Windward Islands to gain statehood status on October 27, 1979.
What’s next: We meet children in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan.