PHILIPSBURG–The six-month K1 Britannia Work, Training and Social Development Programme concluded with a ceremony held at John Larmonie Centre on Saturday. The programme was made possible through collaboration with the Court of Guardianship (CoG), Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten SJIS, the business community and sponsors, specifically Amenwerkende Fondson.
Participants received work-ready workshops during the programme to help prepare them to enter the workforce. They held various paid part-time jobs at multiple businesses on the island, attended tutorials for their general education diplomas (GEDs), completed a computer-literacy course at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, earned their Emergency First Responder certifications and volunteered with organisations on the island.
The purpose of the programme was to increase the participants’ employability and social responsibility. Thirteen participants completed the programme and were present alongside sponsors, employers, instructors of the workshops and courses given during the programme as well as family and friends who came to support the participants. SJIS and Court of Guardianship staff were also present to support the teenagers they guide and protect on a daily basis.
The Master of Ceremonies was Programme Manager Tony Dunkerley, who ran the course and gave guidance and support to the participants during the past six months. Speakers of the day included pre-employment workshops instructor Adelena Schaap-Chandler; GED tutor Jenna Hagenloch; Emergency First Responder Instructor Rachael Collins; and Animal Defenders President Mercedes de Windt.
All participants received their certificates of participation from both CoG Director Richelda Rodriguez-Emmanuel and SJIS Acting Director Cynthia van Samson-Filemon. Special recognitions were given out for “Best Attitude,” “Most Improved,” “Best Volunteer,” “Best Worker” and “Best Overall Participant.”
The day ended with speeches from Rodriguez-Emmanuel and Van Samson-Filemon.
Rodriguez-Emmanuel used her personal life story as a way to relate and encourage all in attendance. She told the teenagers, “What I wish for each and every one of you here today, especially the participants, is for you to realise this: you have a purpose and we are created with a purpose. I wish for each and every one of you, take the deep points, enjoy the high moments, but most of all, journey towards your success. Be grateful for your purpose, your journey and work towards your success. Because you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it too.”
Van Samson-Filemon also touched on her personal life and talked about purpose and believing in oneself.
“Looking back over the last six months, I have really seen all of you undergo a high level of change, both personally and professionally. You have tackled challenges, as a group you have changed. The changes that I have seen in the participants show that the youth of St. Maarten, regardless of their backgrounds, can achieve great things with a little support and direction,” said Dunkerley during his closing remarks.
K1 Britannia Foundation’s support to the participants will not cease with the conclusion of this programme, as the Foundation will continue to help the teenagers’ transition into adult life in the months to come.
K1 Britannia thanked Ramona Thomas for the use of John Larmonie Centre; Shieka’s Bistro for donating the delicious lunch; Loic Bryan of Artistic Designs for donating the photography of the event.
Many of the employers and sponsors who assisted this programme were encouraged and are now ready to continue working with the Foundation to assist the youth.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/66613-k1-britannia-s-work-training-programme-ends-on-high-note