New project set to reach youth

The Cayman Islands Red Cross begins
a new after-school programme on 15 October. 

The Citizenship Project is a free,
nine-week programme for ages 13 to 15, with a number of community partners
assisting the Red Cross. For this pilot project, participation is limited to 20

“The Citizenship Project is
essentially the Cayman Islands Red Cross’ effort to fill the gap in civics education
… by creating a holistic programme where participants get to talk about
things which are of importance to the individual, the community and the nation,”
said project developer and deputy director, Carolina Ferreira.

“That crime has increased is a
fact, as is the involvement of young people in committing those crimes.  From where we stand we are also seeing a
decrease in voluntary service.  Yet how
can one expect that young people, or anyone for that matter, will feel
compelled to give back to a community by which they feel marginalised and from
which they feel disconnected?”

The Citizenship Project aims to
challenge youth to develop critical thinking skills and to spark greater
community awareness in an effort to create empowered, knowledgeable, educated,
tolerant, self sufficient, environmentally conscious citizens.

The programme includes a broad
curriculum that encompasses human rights; the cost of living and poverty; sex/
sexuality and gender; environment/ climate change and disasters;
discrimination; violence and drugs; and education and voluntary services.
Partnering agencies include the NDC, Family Resource Centre, Human Rights
Commission, Constitution Commission, Commissions Secretariat, DOE, the Drug
Court and Prison Services.

Participants will engage in
discussions, debates, surveys and projects to gain a better understanding of the
topics, the role each plays in their individual lives and how they are
perceived/ addressed by the community, and the impact their actions and
attitudes have on the nation.

The project will run every Friday
from 15 October until 10 December from 3.30-6pmat the Cayman Islands Red Cross
training room. 

“We want to ensure the greatest
diversity in participation, so the project is open to all residents in Cayman
…” said Ms Ferreira.

Since 2002 the Cayman Islands Red
Cross has been educating and empowering young people to educate themselves and
their peers in an effort to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in the Cayman
Islands via its Together We Can Peer Education Programme. 

More than 300 peer educators have
been trained via the programme, and over 2,500 peers have been reached through
its message delivered by those young people. 

While the Cayman Islands Red Cross
will continue to deliver that programme, the organization believes it has a
role to play to further assist in the development of the nation’s youth, and
thus started the after-school programme.


Application forms are available at
the Cayman Islands Red Cross or at  Deadline for application is 8 October;
participants who are chosen will be notified on 12 October. For information,
contact Carolina Ferreira at [email protected],
916-1742 or 949-6785 ext. 27.

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