(EMU) – St. Kitts, October 10, 2012: “I never missed a Day! I showed up on Time and left when class was finished.” These proud words of 17-year-old Rhondell Anthony proudly explained how the A Ganar Programme of St Kitts and Nevis had transformed his life by an activity as simple as learning how to use a rule.
Rhondell, a plumbing student, is set to graduate in the near future with 43 other young persons who have qualified as successful participants of the programme which is geared at increasing the employability of youth by giving them the necessary training and skills and enhancing positive attitudes.
Another young man by the name of Jason Phipps flashed a wide smile, looked up and held back tears as he recounted an experience he had since his placement at a Horsfords Garage for job experience.
“A man approached me one afternoon and asked me if I know where he could find a mechanic closeby. His car had stopped working! I told the man I know where he could find one. I asked him what happened to the car. He said it won’t start. I told him to try to start it again. He turned the key and nothing happened. It did not even turn over. I told him It sounds like a battery problem because nothing at all is happening. I told him he should ask somebody to jump his car. He asked someone and then he turned the key again and the car started!” – Rondell paused and smiled widely again.
This was followed by a round of applause from visiting funding agency USAID team members who had come to hear from young persons who completed the first phase of the A Ganar Programme which started in January.
“This is exactly what the programme wants to see in you,” said Daniel Smalker the Mission Director. “We want to see you be winners, but we also want to see you become earners. We want to see you go out and be part of the workplace, be part of the economy, be prepared to earn a living; be prepared to support a family. This is what the programme is all about.”
“We have had tremendous Success” confirmed Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Education Lorozine Williams as she revealed that some 120 youth had benefitted from the employability and vocational skills training project as well as job attachment and work experience exercises.
She thanked the USAID team and said the ministry was impressed with the financial assistance and support for development programmes and particularly the A Ganar Project. IN 2012, USAID provided US $55,200 in assistance to the project.
Ms Williams said she hoped that this important partnership for change would continue for a long time.
Photo - Rhondell Anthony - (Plumbing) (Left), Jason Phipps - (Mechanic) (Right)