Operation Future will begin this week on the renovations of the old Cotton Ground Police Station to convert this building into our Creative Youth Academy in Nevis. The goal will be to have the facility equipped with a common games room, classroom/music room, kitchen, recording studio and all equipment necessary for youth to be involved in audio and video production as well as a wide variety of sporting equipment. We hope to have this facility established in early July in time for the school summer break.
This facility will be equipped similarly to our facility in St Kitts and modeled after the Just TV Program in Winnipeg, Canada and the Street Culture Project in Regina, Canada. Both of these acclaimed programs are showing tremendous success in steering at risk youth away from the gang culture of crime and violence as well as success in actual gang intervention. For a tour of Operation Future’s Creative Youth Academy at St Johnson Village in St Kitts please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeSXIi6MJSU
Unfortunately, the issue of the gang culture is often over simplified and blamed on economics, jobs is the answer, interestingly programs based on employment have a dismal success rate, the issue of youth, crime and violence particularly the gang culture is far more complex than simple economics. After all studies demonstrate that youth begin getting involved with the gang culture as young as 8 years of age, how many eight year olds are working on their curriculum vitae and looking for work.
Studies demonstrate, and Operation Future has confirmed this with our own work in the Federation, that the primary reasons for youth to gravitate to the gang culture is they are seeking family, acceptance, recognition and security. When economics is raised it is discussed in terms of poverty commonly results in poor parenting and a lack of guidance in the home as the primary caregiver struggles to meet the material demands of the family and as such is unable to provide the emotional support and guidance.
The goal of the Creative Youth Academy is to provide what the youth seek in the gang culture in a positive environment. The use of a multimedia platform using music and video engages the youth, once engaged life skills can be taught and youth working with positive role models become positive members of the community.
The Creative Youth Academy is part of Operation Future’s work to develop long term sustainable programs to address the underlying social issues which lead to crime and violence amongst our youth.
Operation Future is self funded and entirely volunteer based and as such we will appreciate the assistance of all interested in making a positive impact on the youth of our nation, material donations and donations of labour are needed and will be greatly appreciated. Once the center is established we will be looking for volunteers to donate their time in the center from simple chaperons to giving music instruction, home work assistance, reading programs, cooking lessons etc.
The issues facing our nation regarding youth crime and violence needs to be addressed by those most impacted, we as members of the community. Further, handcuffs and prison sentences have not successfully addressed this issue anywhere else in the world, the United States now leads the first world in incarceration rates, particularly amongst young black males and yet the issue of youth, crime and violence continues the only change is the volume of tax dollar expended on police forces, courts and prisons at the expense of education and social programs, a recipe for disaster.
Proactive solutions that address the root of the issue are needed, very simple, “takes a village to raise a child”.
If you wish to assist please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com