Court of Guardianship and K1 partnership continues

PHILIPSBURG–K1 Britannia Foundation and the Court of Guardianship recently signed an agreement to continue working together for the next five years to help vulnerable youths, in particular children under protective custody and young offenders.

The agreement was signed by K1 Britannia co-founder Priya Thirumur and Court of Guardianship Director Richelda Rodriguez-Emmanuel and witnessed by Cynthia van Samson-Filemon, Acting Director of Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten (SJIS).

Projects will include the mentorship programme involving persons from the community becoming mentors to foster children and young offenders. The ongoing pilot K1 Work, Training and Social Development (WTSD) Programme for foster teenagers and teenagers under probationary measures ages 16 to 18 fall under the scope of this agreement.

Rodriguez-Emmanuel said mentors play a vital role in helping mentees “heal and make the right choices and grow and develop as human beings. It is important to try to teach them new behaviours and that they know there are other options and that you give them other options.” She also noted that there is a need for programmes focused on the youth.

“Giving these youth, regardless of their background, the resources, education and opportunities as teenagers is critical for their development and success later on. Many youth with a criminal record are given no options other than to remain in crime. Without giving these youth a second chance, is it any wonder that the crime rate is increasing in St. Maarten, especially amongst teenagers,” stated Thirumur.

K1 Britannia also partners with the business community for its Second Chance and Maritime Programmes. All programmes focus on providing youngsters with healing, love, guidance, tools, resources, education, opportunities and confidence needed in this critical time in their development to overcome their challenges.

   Thirumur said she believes one of the major problems in St. Maarten is the crisis management mentality. “People’s primary focus is on putting a band-aid on problems rather than focusing on long-term solutions. What can we do today to solve the problems for the next 5 to 10 years, or even permanently?” she asked.

The Foundation will focus this year on long-term programmes that can help bring long-term solutions to its target groups.

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Source: The Daily Herald