NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 24, 2022) — Nevis now has an advisory board for the Boys’ Mentorship Programme, after eight persons were installed as members by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs, at the Department of Gender Affairs conference room on May 19, 2022.
While presenting them with their instruments of appointment, the minister thanked them for their volunteerism and for accepting the invitation to be a part of the new programme.
“I want to say a hearty thank you for giving of your service and your time. It is a voluntary service that you are giving and we are eternally grateful. We know we cannot pay you for your time but we want to say how appreciative we are to you for taking this step.
“We are aware that we are living through very trying times and our boys come under scrutiny from time to time, and so we want to pull back what has gone down a wrong path. We want to instill the good behaviour that we once had in our boys, and I am certain that you will do an excellent job,” she said.
Mrs. Brandy-Williams noted that though mindful some members are busy persons in the community, she is certain they would devote the time needed to assist the island’s boys.
“I know as busy as some persons might be you will make the time to listen to the mentees, to engage them from time to time and to be authentic because I think one of the hallmarks of being a good mentor is to be authentic.
“The boys need somebody who they can believe in, who they can call out to, who they can rely on, and so authenticity, reliability, those are some of the hallmarks, the buzz words, of being an excellent mentor, and I know that you have the requisite qualifications to do all that. So I want to say how grateful we are as a ministry, as a department, for your interest in continuing to mold our boys,” she said.
The Advisory Board members are: Ms. Joy Napier, Principal of the Nevis International Secondary School, who sits as the representative of the pilot school; Mr. Alexis Browne and Mr. Hensley Daniel are civil society representatives; Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, who is starting a mentorship programme at his church as part of their Life Builders Men’s Ministry in an effort to reach the boys in the Jessups community, sits on the board as mentor representative; Ms. Jasmine Browne sits on the board as a professional counsellor; Mr. Jamir Claxton, Director of Sports on Nevis serves as the sports and youth representative; Ms. Agnola Hendrickson from the Bank of Nevis International represents the private sector, and Mr. Mario Phillip, Gender Affairs Officer in the Department of Gender Affairs and Programme Coordinator.
The Boys’ Mentorship Programme was launched in Nevis by Minister Brandy-Williams on November 21, 2021. The programme is also designed to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. Fifteen men attended the first series of training sessions.
The minister also used the opportunity to thank their counterparts in St. Kitts who she said have played a significant role in setting up the mentorship programme on Nevis and for imparting their invaluable assistance.
Mr. Virgil Jeffers, Acting Director of Gender Affairs in St. Kitts along with board members of the St. Kitts Boys Mentorship Programme: Mr. Deon Browne, Gender Field Officer in the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs; Mr. Curtis Francis, Counsellor; Mr. Darryl Lloyd, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure in St. Kitts; and Mr. Philip Mills, Deputy Chairman of the board and civil society representative were on hand to witness the installation and to attend the first joint board meeting.
Also present was Ms. Latoya Jeffers, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration.