- Posted On January 12, 2020
Fifty young people in the East La Penitence and Sophia communities are to benefit from an $11.4 million (US$57,000) USAID-funded project that would see them receiving after-school tuition in various subject areas.Awarded to School of the Nations, the project seeks to equip students with the skills and tools necessary to seek gainful employment, as opposed to the alternatives of crime and violence.Head of School of the Nations, Dr Brian O’Toole, speaking late last week, noted that for the next six months, the private institution will run the after-school classes in Sophia for 25 youths aged 10-16, and for another 25 from East La Penitence. The classes will be held from Monday to Friday at the Nations premises on New Market Street and at the Brickdam Secondary School on Brickdam, Georgetown.“The idea of that project is to look at some high-risk areas which, according to USAID, are high-crime areas, and try to see if we can offer the kids some path out of potential dangerous occupations. So we’re working on art, music, making videos, teaching the use of the computer, (and) also on vocational skills. We have a big entrepreneurial project that we are doing with them,” Dr O’ Toole detailed.Coordinator of the after-school programme in East La Penitence, Louisa Macey, has said that literacy and numeracy are among the key areas on which much focus will be placed. She explained that some of the sixth formers at Nations have been trained in empowerment programmes, and will be working with the youths to this end.Meanwhile, Assistant Programme Manager Othneil Lewis told Guyana Times that he expects to see transformed young people at the end of the programme.“They’re in a safe space, they have something constructive to do all the time, and my hope is to not only see them transformed as persons, but in their academics as well,” Lewis indicated on Tuesday last.A delegation from the Nancy Campbell Academy in Stratford, Ontario, Canada is also supporting the initiative, especially in the field of music.