According to a release from the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Minister Liburd made the statement during an address to participants at a one-day consultation designed to fine-tune the Child Development Project.
The project has as its major priority, the construction of the “New Horizons Co-ed Centre” and the implementation of the project geared at improving the lives of at-risk youth. The centre is a juvenile rehabilitation facility being constructed in Harris’.
Focusing on rehabilitation and transformation, the Minister explained, “It is the conviction of the Government that if we fail to create an enabling environment for realizing the fullest potential of our young people, we would inevitably be passing on feelings of deprivation, inequality and alienation which could result in lawlessness and underdevelopment.”
The activity, organized for stakeholders from a wide cross section of society, was organized to brainstorm ideas that will serve as the basis for the Child Development Project.
Minister Liburd called on those present to ensure that they are considerate of the causes of juvenile delinquency and the purpose of the centre before seeking to make proposals that would constitute a workable intervention.
She suggested that due consideration be given to the demographic of youth involved including the type of households and family structure they come from, their gender, their level of vulnerability, the types of acts they commit as well as their ages. From the general public’s point of view, she recommended that their general fears and concerns also be considered.
Liburd recommitted her Ministry to ensuring that adequate resources, clear accountability, quality service and proper implementation and evaluation structures would be put in place. She assured that every attempt would be made for the proper allocation of financial resources.
“The resources committed for this project will be utilized for providing meaningful second chances for our nation’s children and our young people,” the Minister emphasized.
Project Manager Mr. Raphael Archibald expressed gratitude to the Minister whom he said had done much to advance the project. He also commended Permanent Secretary Sharon Rattan whom he credited with the idea of holding the critically important consultation.