A year’s worth of positive intervention has come to an end for a small group of Cayman’s young people who have been attending the Positive Intervention Now or “PIN” programme, led by volunteers and supported by corporate sponsors, such as PwC.
The year of guidance and support for the young participants culminated in the programme’s closing ceremony at St. George’s Anglican Church, where volunteers, children and members of the sponsors’ staff were joined by parents and other well-wishers.
PIN Coordinator Marlene Ricketts said it has been a tremendous achievement to see the young people, all roughly age 11, develop and blossom during the time that they have spent on the programme.
“PIN is an after school programme developed by the Education and Youth Committee of St George’s Anglican Church that caters for young people who attend George Town Primary School. The aim is to provide a nurturing and welcoming environment that helps to guide both the minds and spirits of the young people who attend,” she said. “It has been truly wonderful to see how the young people have opened up during their time with us. We believe that praise for the smallest steps leads to confident young people and that has been central to our successes.”
Ms Ricketts said that the programme stalled a few years ago because of lack of funding, so input and support from firms like PwC has made all the difference to the viability of the programme as a whole.
“We are extremely grateful to PwC for their continued support,” she confirms. “Not only in monetary terms but also in terms of the firm’s staff volunteering to work with us to develop the children, helping with homework and reading to the young people. Their input has made a significant impact on the success of the PIN programme.”
PwC Senior Associate Gerhard Van Rhyn has coordinated the volunteer programme at PwC. He said he has been happy to step in to assist in this way.
“At PwC, we have a corporate social responsibility committee of which I am a member,” he said. “The committee knows that we support the program financially, but we also wanted to help in a more meaningful way. This year, we had several volunteers attend sessions to assist in any way that we could.”
Mr. Van Rhyn says that although this academic year’s programme has come to an end, he is looking forward to continuing his support when the programme resumes again in October, as he is keen to further the firm’s support of the PIN programme.
“Engaging with the youngsters has not only been rewarding but it was a lot of fun too. We worked on a number of projects with the kids such as painting and making Christmas cards. The entire experience has been a positive one all round.”
Ms Ricketts confirmed that the impact on the youngsters has also been extremely positive, especially as the programme aims to guide young people at such a crucial age in their lives, just before adolescence.
“It is so important to be able to help mould a child at the time in their lives when they are able to be shaped and guided,” she said. “And this applies not just through the PIN programme but in any voluntary capacity. The key to developing a child mentally and spiritually is to guide them at this crucial young age. Once they get older it is far harder to correct behaviour already learned.”
As for the youngsters, they all agree that they have thoroughly enjoyed their time with the PIN programme. Eleven-year-old Sashana said she really enjoyed so many different aspects, including doing art projects, setting the table for dinner, sewing and dancing. Ten-year-old Justina said she also enjoyed the art projects, as well as learning scriptures from the Bible, while 11-year-old Kyle said his favourite aspect of the programme were the trips out and about, especially to a cupcake store.
PwC’s Territory Senior Partner Frazer Lindsay confirms that PwC will continue their support for the PIN programme in the future.
“This is a project to which we are committed,” he said. “It has been a pleasure seeing the positive impact the programme has had on the young people who attend. The PIN programme gives solid guidance and builds confident young people who are better equipped to deal with the pressures as they enter adult life. We commend the organisers for all of the hard work that goes into moulding and developing young people in this way.”
If you are interested in donating or getting involved with the PIN programme, please call 916-8522.