BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, April 17, 2018 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Federation’s National Security Advisor, Major General (Ret.) Stewart Saunders, holds the view that youth clubs in any country have a central focus in the development of the country’s youth in a manner acceptable to the society and the nation with a view to ensuring the continuous survival, security, safety, and stability of a country’s cherished ideals.
“They (youth clubs) are here to ensure and preserve our future, and you the parents, guardians, teachers and children are the centre of this objective – if it is to be achieved,” said Major General Saunders.
The National Security Advisor made the remarks on Thursday April 12 at the launching ceremony, by the Ministry of National Security, of the St. Peter’s Explorers Club held at the Dean Glasford Primary School in St. Peter’s. The new club has 60 members.
Major General Saunders reminded the new members of the thirteen objectives governing the Explorers Youth Clubs which speak to the exposure and application of critical life skills and attributes which would equip them to be of value to the Federation, the region and the world, as they embark on life’s journey.
“Objectives four, five, seven and eleven are of particular note, and I speak to respect: Respect yourself, respect others, respect the property of self and others,” he implored the new members. “Be your brother’s keeper; always be mindful of the weak, as well as the strong.”
The National Security Advisor pointed out that parents and guardians had a responsibility to ensure that they, as well as their children or those under them, live up to the club’s objectives. He reminded that guns do not heal – they hurt; drugs can kill like guns; and gangs steal their minds just like drugs and guns.
“They have no place in your development, no place in your community and no place in your club,” concluded Major General (Ret.) Stewart Saunders. “The concept of the Explorers Youth Club is one which identifies with a critical need for social investments in the development of our most treasured resource, our human capital in the Federation and it should be embraced by all wholeheartedly.”
Addressing the new members was Dr Neals Chitan, Crime Reduction Specialist, who told them that the club would bring discipline to them noting that if there was one thing in the 21st Century society could do with was a high dose injection, or what he referred to as a potent injection of discipline.
“We have lost discipline and when we lose discipline what happens, another word follows the ‘D’, that is Enforcement,” warned Dr Chitan. “When we lose discipline, enforcement follows. I see people in places like the New Horizon, Nevis Prison Farm, and these young men and women who wish they could be out enjoying freedom like you are enjoying. But they did not have the discipline to give them that freedom. So today they have to be enforced.”
He noted that when some parents think about enforcement, they always think about the police. He however advised them that they have a major role to play in enforcement, as the primary line of enforcement is the home.
According to Dr Chitan, when parents let children get away with law breaking at home, it is exported to the school, and when the school cannot deal with it, it will be exported to the community. He concluded by saying he was happy that the Explorers Club has discipline as its number one purpose, noting it would succeed as “Our children have the ability to obey.”
Founder of the Explorers Youth Clubs, Inspector Rosemarie Isles-Joseph, said that the journey had not been easy to the level where they now have four Explorers Clubs. The first one was Mol-Phil, followed by Shadwell last year. This year has seen the establishment of Explorers Clubs in St. Paul’s and now St. Peter’s.
“To all my Explorers, whether Mol-Phil, St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, Shadwell or any other community which will become a part of us, I extend the hand of friendship and the spirit of family across St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Inspector Isles-Joseph. “I implore all of you to be each other’s keeper and treat each other with respect and be a shining light of hope for all of the children in our beloved country.”
“Explorers you must be brave, and report all that affect you negatively so that the solutions may be addressed. We cannot fix it if we do not know about it,” she commented. In conclusion, the Explorers Clubs founder advised: “Individually you may feel weak, but collectively you are as strong as the strongest link holding any society together.”