NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 24, 2024) - The Department of Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) recently launched the Gingerland Secondary School Chapter of the Boys’ Mentorship Programme (BMP), pairing 12 teenaged boys with male mentors to provide them with guidance and support.
During the opening ceremony held on January 18, 2024 at the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park, Minister of Gender Affairs the Honourable Jahnel Nisbett said the initiative does not target at-risk youth, but instead provides the boys with mentors who are a representation of what a good, successful man looks like so that they can have something to emulate.
“A programme like this is not necessarily going in to look for bad apples or anything of the sort. It is to go in and tap into that potential the students have at the school but they may not have that mentorship, that opportunity in their home life, family life or community life. So we are exposing them to that and experiences to reach their maximum potential opportunity,” she said, expressing gratitude to the schools, programme coordinators, parents, mentors, mentees, sponsor, and all involved “because we truly value what this programme is doing for our boys.”
Mr. Mario Phillip, Board Chairman for the Boys’ Mentorship Programme said the initiative centers around five pillars, which include the mentor/mentee one-on-one relationship, group developmental sessions, and a community service aspect. There is also a component for job attachment.
“We are also working diligently not only to grow the students academically, but also mentally and emotionally so that we can have well-rounded individuals,” he explained.
GSS principal Mr. Kayno David registered his gratitude to the organizers and sponsor for extending the programme to the school, and expressed his hope that the efforts would have a positive impact on the island’s young men.
“Men are best to mentor boys who will become young, strong, influential men in society, and these male mentors and role models are key to the elevated success of all males and society in general,” he said. “I want to thank the mentors who are volunteering their time and their efforts and knowledge and expressing that love to our boys…because of them we will be seeing a different future.
Mr. Stephen Agbeyegbe, Chief Operations Officer for the sponsor company the Bank of New Innovation Limited (BONI) delivered remarks and Mr. James Simpson, Interim Chief Executive Officer for BONI presented the Hon. Nisbett with a cheque for $10,000 to assist with carrying out the programme’s activities.
Also delivering remarks at the ceremony were Deputy Premier of Nevis the Honourable Eric Evelyn, Member of Parliament for St. George’s, Gingerland; Mr. Juan Williams, Education Officer for secondary schools; Ms. Agnola Hendrickson, Public Relations Officer for BONI; Mr. Dion Browne from the BMP St. Kitts; and Mr. Hensley Daniel, BMP Training Coordinator.
Present at the ceremony were the Hon. Troy Liburd, Minister of Education and Youth; Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Permanent Secretary for Education; and Ms. Latoya Jeffers Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs.
Students from the GSS entertained the attendees with a riveting drum performance, and students the programme’s pilot school, the Nevis International Secondary School (NISS), played a rousing steel pan medley.
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