By Zoe Bendeito, the Observer’s intern
On July 30, the Observer conducted an interview with Pastor Tebron Flemming, a certified minister, and her mother, Pastor Sandra Flemming, about how the two saw a need for a rehabilitation center for the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and how they put that thought into action.
Tebron had traveled to St. Lucia in 2014 for ministry training and to Jamaica in 2015 for training at a rehabilitation center there known as “Youth Challenge.” An ordained minister and a trained counselor, director and teacher, she also had training at another program known as “Living Free.”
After her experiences, she had realized that the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis could benefit from such an establishment to help those dealing with social ills. She is in partnership with the global Teen Challenge Organization, which is in more than 100 other countries providing rehabilitation for their people.
Sandra had mentioned that in Jamaica, Tebron trained with Teen Challenge staff and to equip her with the knowledge and information to teach, to council and to direct a Teen Challenge center.
“We realized that there was a need here in St. Kitts and Nevis for [people] to be rehabilitated from not just drugs, but [from] bad or destructive behavior, lifestyles and stuff such as that, so [after] the training I did there [at] Teen Challenge [in Jamaica], I decided [that] when I [got] back, I [would] want to install a base here,” Tebron said. “Our vision for this program right now is to first sensitize the community here in Nevis as well in St. Kitts. We’re going to do campaigns and we would like to get a base here. We want to train some other [people].”
After directing and teaching a class in July 2016, Tebron saw her students graduate from the program under the Teen Challenge banner.
“On Sunday, July 23 this year, we had the graduation of nine [people] who [went] through the program,” she said. “So they [learned] and [were] trained to help themselves [conquer] whatever was controlling them, whatever [was] dictating their lives and now they can help others, too.”
She continued by clarifying the difference between the two programs of Youth Challenge and Living Free they would like introduce.
“Living Free is nonresidential, while Teen Challenge is residential,” she said. “Living Free screens people and teaches them to deal with life-controlling problems and they also screen them so they could know who can stop here with the nonresidential program and who should go on to the residential program.”
The residential program would allow certain people such as drug addicts to stay for 12 months living in the rehab center. The nonresidential program would be for people who would want to walk in for help and counseling just for a day or less.
“This program helps [people] identify life-controlling problems and apply the lessons or tools that they [learned] in this program to their own personal lives,” she said. “Then they can help others identify and overcome their life controlling problems.”
The two women have asked the government for assistance and are currently trying to identify an appropriate building for a rehabilitation center. The Observer will keep you updated with any other additional information.