by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley believes that community organisations and groupings are very instrumental in keeping youth properly engaged and guiding them in the right direction.
Olonzo Alexander and Atiba Byron, invited Premier Brantley to the Sunday, February 6 edition of “Hear He Nuh” on WINN Fm, where they discussed the importance of community organisations and how the dysfunction of core social groups may be a contributor to the social ills that exist in today’s culture.
Alexander recalled groups such as Boys Scouts and the Anglican Young People Association which would have shaped the lives of himself and other young people in the Federation as a youth in the 1980s.
In agreement with Alexander, Premier Brantley acknowledged that the church is powerful and has a pivotal role to play in guiding today’s youth, as a number of community groups in the past evolved through the church. Brantley added that community oriented groups still have a role to play, just like sports; which helps to build character, helps individuals to interact with people or teammates, and teaches individuals how to fight hard and lose and come back and fight again.
Brantley suggested that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis revitalise some of the civic groups that were very active in the past, to shape a better Federation.
“I think that we have more work to do, that’s my short answer; that we have to rekindle the interest in some of those groups which I think added real value. We have to again emphasise the partnership between state and church, which is also important; that we encourage the work that the church has been doing and continues to do. In my own premiership, I have made regular meetings with the church groups as part of what I do, because I think that their input is critical if we are going to build the kind of St. Kitts and Nevis that we need.”
In an effort to bring back some of the community spirited groups or organisations on the island of Nevis, Brantley said community groups have been asked to reform and register with the Department of Youth and Sports, so that they can get the support needed.
Brantley also mentioned that the community as a whole should return to volunteerism and not always depend on politicians to organise various community initiatives. He added that even instilling in the youth simple, common practises like, “do not litter” would ensure a better people and a better nation.
WINN Media reached out to the Department of Youth on Nevis which indicated that there are currently 18 active Youth Groups on Nevis as per their record. However, it was made clear that the number may not accurately reflect the number of active Youth Groups on the island.