Youth Services Providers directory a first for Cayman

The first copy of a comprehensive directory of youth programmes currently offered across the Cayman Islands was recently presented to former education minister Alden McLaughlin

‘The Cayman Islands Youth Service Providers Directory is a comprehensive listing of 68 youth programmes across all three of the Cayman Islands and includes 35 faith-based groups, eight uniformed groups, three service clubs, five sports groups, eight community groups and nine other groups,’ said youth empowerment officer in the Youth Services Unit Leasa Charlton.

For ease of reference, also included are their mission statements, the locations where they meet, the meetings times and their target age range.

‘Composing this Directory was very insightful,’ said Mrs. Charlton.

‘There is a lot going on in our communities in terms of programming for young people but there needs to be more promotion of what is available.’

She noted that groups that may have been left out are encouraged to inform the YSU.

Receiving the directory, Minister McLaughlin stated, ‘It has long been the belief that there is very little for young people to do on these islands, but the 68 programmes listed in this directory confirms that this is not the case.

‘I am confident that this directory will go a long way to assist parents and young people in identifying suitable programmes that they can benefit from and I encourage all of our young people to get involved with at least one club or programme that matches their interests,’ he continued.

‘The Youth services Unit have done a great job compiling this information in a user friendly format and I thank them for this tremendously useful piece of work. I am particularly pleased to see that in addition to information on the programmes, the directory also includes tips on conflict management, saving money, keeping fit and keeping mentally motivated and goes as far as including has helpful tips for parents on child safety.’

Head of the Unit, Katherine Whittaker, also encouraged parents to visit programmes of interest to decide which programme meets their values, needs and expectations.

‘These programmes have the potential to help young people develop their social skills by offering opportunities to interact with a wide variety of people. These groups offer more than just their programmes. They offer leisure time where young people can meet, talk to each other and decide for themselves what they value,’ she said.

Copies of the directory are available in each school library, district libraries, and school PTA’s as well as the Youth Services Unit at Unit #6, F & J Building, Mary Street Tel: 943-1127. The directory is also available on CD and posted on the Unit’s website at www.ysu.gov.ky

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