Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Minister of Environment and Cooperatives, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, during his maiden Budget Presentation in the Federal Parliament on December 18, 2020, said that all government primary schools in St. Kitts and Nevis now have Junior Savings Cooperatives.
A Junior Savings Cooperatives is a saving programme where children can bank monies. Minister Evelyn said that young people are the future and it’s important to teach them about saving and how to grow their money.
“We want to encourage thrift, savings and trust and community among the young people and that is why we want to start it down there at the primary level and then, of course, we want to take it to the secondary level as well,” said Minister Evelyn.
The minister noted that work had already begun with the Epworth Maurice Hillier Primary School to get them officially registered. He added that they held meetings with parents, staff and students, as well as done some work with the by-laws. However, COVID-19 came and halted the progress. Minister Evelyn said that the aim is to resume in 2021 and get them registered.
Important to note, the minister said that financial institutions managed by cooperatives play an important role in any country.
“…We can realize that cooperatives make an important and significant contribution to the development of the country. And so, we are working diligently with the cooperatives that are there to strengthen them,” he said.
Currently, there are 13 cooperatives in St. Kitts, to which the minister said he is very proud of. These include but are not limited to the Gideon Force Agricultural Cooperatives; the St. Kitts Farmers Cooperatives; the Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperatives; the St. Kitts Bee Keepers Cooperatives; the St. Kitts Taxi Cooperatives and the St. Kitts Schools Apex Cooperatives.