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work with marginalised youth in the Caribbean (YDS)

Location: Saint Lucia
Project type: youth development support
Price from: £1,504 - details below


In various locations around the island, this programme works with young people who are disadvantaged or marginalised - through their special needs, social deprivation or by failures in the traditional education system in Saint Lucia.


Skills required

We work closely with the local people who manage the programme, and they have identified their primary volunteer needs.
 
A large variety of abilities and skills will be welcomed by the directors and staff of these local education initiatives. The following skills are needed to support the dedicated staff in their work supporting, training and preparing school drop-outs for a worthwhile future:
  • youth workers
  • practical skills - electronics, carpentry, mechanics, catering, garments & fashion
  • life skills
  • small-business skills
  • teaching - remedial English and maths, particularly practical
  • special needs educators, especially those experienced in autistic spectrum disorders including Aspergers Syndrome and/or those with specific learning difficulties
  • drama teachers and coaches
  • IT and web skills
  • organisational, accounting, marketing and human resources practitioners to help build the capacity of the project staff
  • organic production, pest control, husbandry and agronomics
  • sustainable farming and horticulture
  • organic pest management

Main project details

There are a number of initiatives in Saint Lucia that have been established to support young people who, for one reason or another, are not sufficiently qualified to find employment and/or who require some form of support or rehabilitation to enable them to successfully contribute to society.  All the initiatives supported by our volunteer programme are either run or supported by Sacred Sports Foundation (SSF), an NGO dedicated to social development for Caribbean youth using sport as a catalyst for change in disadvantaged and troubled communities.  The Foundation tackles critical social issues of unemployment, child welfare, crime and violence prevention, conflict resolution and health and youth development, fostering increased community participation in socially inclusive physical activity alongside efforts to promote gender awareness and alleviating discrimination of all kinds.  Over the past 10 years Sacred Sports Foundation has delivered a range of after school programmes to well over 3,000 people, targeting at-risk youth, persons with disabilities, juvenile delinquents and young adolescent girls in typically poor and under-served communities. They have trained some 426 coaches in basic youth development, child safeguarding and special needs participatory programmes.  SSF operates intiatives including the Caribbean's largest child safeguarding programme in sport and a comprehensive unemployed youth and coach training programme.

Volunteers will work under the SSF 'umbrella' either on their own programmes or with one of the organisations their training programmes support.  As a volunteer in this programme, you will be matched to one or more organisations and locations, depending on where your particular skills and experience can best be used.
 
The largest initiative supported by SSF is The Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (C.A.R.E.), established in April 1993 to help disadvantaged young people to take control of their own lives. The programme is geared towards the promotion of self-empowerment by providing life skills, vocational and basic education in a nurturing and safe environment.  Many young people find themselves ill equipped for life and unable to find employment. Some have failed to reach the required academic standards and left school with no formal qualifications. Others get hooked on drugs and/or turn to violence. Failure is very much part of their lives and, as a result of this lack of self-confidence, many radiate hostility and lack trust - they feel that no-one listened to them.  C.A.R.E works with young people between the ages of 12 and 20. The objective of the programme is to foster positive attitudes in young people towards themselves, others and work, improving their communication, inter-personal, educational and vocational skills, empowering them towards leading a more independent life and training them to manage their own sexuality and emotions.  C.A.R.E. is a highly respected organisation within Saint Lucia and is recognised and supported by the Department of Education.  Many local businesses accept their trainees for work placements.  There are several centres throughout the beautiful and lush island of Saint Lucia. Volunteers will be placed in the centre where their particular skills and support are appropriate and most needed. 

'I met so many lovely and dedicated people working for the charity, and also on my travels in my spare time people I met spoke so highly of C.A.R.E. and the work it has done over many years.' Volunteer, Pat

Another initiative is Upton Gardens Girls' Centre, which works to rehabilitate underprivileged, abused, neglected or abandoned teenage girls on the verge of delinquency.  The Centre aims to provide quality care to girls between the ages of 12 and 16 who are experiencing challenges navigating through adolescence, either at home or at school.  Staff at the Centre aim to create an environment of warmth, trust and acceptance so that even the most difficult girls feel a sense of belonging.
 
A further initiative is the development of an environmentally friendly organic farm, where 22 previously unemployed young people are actively engaged, building their skills and capacity by providing them with training and environmental knowledge, and setting them up as environmental ambassadors within their own communities.  The aims of the farm are to train local young people, and also to promote organic agriculture and through this to support income generation, nutritional development, natural resource conservation, food self-sufficiency and public awareness, ultimately leading to a reduction in poverty and imporoved health.
 
To learn more about how the volunteer programme works with this project read more here.

Context

St. Lucia is sold as a Sun Sea and Sand paradise destination enjoyed by many. However the reality is that a significant portion of the population does not benefit from the tourist dollar. This contributes to marginalization of many Saint Lucians, particularly the youth, who without access to education and employment opportunities are vulnerable to a life of crime and failure. 
 
As a responsible volunteer in this project, you will be able to make a real difference to these young people's lives and in turn help reduce the huge social and economic divide that exists on this beautiful island. 
 
Volunteer opportunities in this programme are many and varied. Whether you are a professional teacher or classroom assistant, retired or in work and looking for a career break, you can share your skills and experience with local teaching staff in this education development project. 
 
Other skills and experience will also be welcome - take a look at the list of needs, as identified by the project, near the top of this page. You can play your part in responsible volunteer work overseas.

Minimum duration

minimum 4 weeks. Some specialist skills can be used for shorter durations at certain times of the year - please ask.

Living Conditions

Depending on the programme designed for you, you will live in a self catering apartment in one of three locations - close to the beach and tourist amenities in Rodney Bay, in the picturesque little seaside town of Soufriere, or in Vieux Fort close to the airport. You will have your own large and airy room with plenty of storage space and work space and a private shower room.  You can choose to self cater or dine in one of the many local eateries.

Local small hotel accommodation can be arranged at additional cost.

Project costs

from£1,504 for 4 weeks based self catering in a shariing an  apartment 
 
NB single rooms are available at an additional $500 per month (accommodation in a local small hotel can be arranged at an additional cost) 
 
Read about our costs and pricing policy here 
 
Watch an explanatory interview with programme director Sallie Grayson
 
Additional weeks  are costed at a sliding reducing rate. Please ask for details
 
Please note - these costs are correct to the best of our knowledge but can only be confirmed at time of booking, due to changes in transport and taxes outside our control.
 
N.B. Costs will be charged in dollars (except people and places fee) the sterling conversion is based on $1.65 to £sterling
Included: Self catering accomodation, airport transfers, full local orientation, social event, local SIM card, project & placement liaison
 
Your project donation will be used for the purchase of essential equipment for the project.
 
How your money is spent based on 4 weeks:
$1090  - direct costs in Saint Lucia (airport transfers, accommodation, orientation, information packs, SIM card)
$390 - project management, liaison & supervision in Saint Lucia
$200 - project donation in Saint Lucia
£260 GBP - recruitment, matching & project development in UK
 
Not included: flights, insurance, visa costs, daily travel to project (local bus fares are approx 7 USD per day), personal expenses such as phone calls, medical expenses, etc
 
If you or your friends and family wish to make further donations to this project CLICK HERE

Recommended reading

Check out slideshare | youtube | our blog | facebook for volunteer interviews & project news
 
A good general guide to the country's history, culture and environment from The Travel Foundation

Project gallery



Registered volunteers can learn about the local team for this project - LOG ON to learn more about this project and the local team we work with. Not registered yet? It's easy and free HERE!


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