Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 11, 2019 (SKNIS): Thirteen months into the launch of the Volunteer Corps in St. Kitts and Nevis have left staff at the Department of Youth Empowerment encouraged that the spirit of community service and helping others is resonating among members.
The Corps is currently made up of 183 persons. Youth Officer Sharon Cannonier, who oversees the programme, noted that the newer members who were inducted last month (February 2019) have been eager to participate in projects. They show up on time and call the department repeatedly looking for assignments. This stands in contrast to many volunteers in the inaugural group who just waited to be assigned.
What is even more impressive to Ms. Cannonier is the continued service by persons who have graduated from the Corps but who continue to contribute service without charge at various department functions. These include tree plantings, coastal cleanups, and assisting with care for vulnerable groups including the differently-abled and older persons.
“I think we have achieved somewhat one of our aims in terms of having them volunteer and understanding what volunteerism is all about,” she said.
Youth Officer Steven Gilbert has been out with several teams from the Corps as they execute various tasks. “The teamwork is at a high level and the communication is at a high level as well,” he said.
One of the more recent projects saw a team planting about 12 fruit trees at Carifesta Village in St. Peter’s. Mr. Gilbert said the young people did not complain about the humidity or getting their hands dirty as some do. The group willingly dug in. Follow up tasks, such as watering and caring for the plants, are being implemented regularly.
Youth Officer Gilbert said the experience will be beneficial to the volunteers as it offers lessons of discipline, time management, empathy, team work and communication.
Individuals interested in joining the Volunteer Corps or having volunteers assigned to their non-profit activity can visit the Department of Youth Empowerment in St. Kitts on Cayon Street or call telephone 467-1393.