Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Smith promises ‘BVI Youth Trust’ if elected

Smith promises ‘BVI Youth Trust’ if elected

Amid recurring reports of violence and indiscipline in local schools, Territorial At-Large candidate in the upcoming General Elections, Lorna Smith is promising to establish what she described as a BVI Youth Trust if elected.
Smith, a former First Lady of the Virgin Islands, said this would be one of her first acts. She said the Trust would be governed by a fully independent board and have branches in each electoral district.

“The Trust will step in where schools or the college currently cannot,” Smith stated during a recent statement declaring her candidacy. “It will fund youth counsellors who can work in the schools and support after-school activities. It will create further education, training and mentorship opportunities so that our children stay on the right track, can access the support they and their parents need and find the inspiration to live their best lives possible.”

The political hopeful further said her vision for the programme would be to finance it through a public-private partnership.

She said the idea would be to secure funding from the local private sector to finance the extracurricular activities, allowing the government to then focus on education and “direct the work for the young as well as for the people”.

“The private sector can also provide more than just money,” Smith added. It can provide highly skilled mentorship, and vocational training and we as a government can ensure that our people can climb the ladder to professional and financial excellence themselves. We must empower them to be strong, proud citizens creating a bright future for themselves and our country.”

Smith also said there is a need for the government to work with the proprietors of early childhood education centres to ensure that the territory’s children get their start in life with proper oversight and policies, driven by our education professionals.

The former First Lady said the present-day challenges facing youth in the BVI are “greater than ever before” and said it is pivotal that students are provided with “the very best education at both elementary and high school levels”.

Just last month, Education Minister Sharie de Castro painted a dire picture of the state of affairs at the territory’s secondary schools as she confirmed that there have been threats from students to the lives of their peers, school officials, security officers, and even threats to destroy property.
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