ELEVATE Programme Successfully Achieving Its Goals By Effecting Significant Transformations In Its Participants

Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (left) and Major Kayode Sutton, Director of ELEVATE (right).
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Officials who are integrated into the work of the ELEVATE Programme proudly reported to the nation during the radio and television programme, InFocus, on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, that they are already witnessing significant personal growth and transformation in the thinking and lifestyle choices of numerous participants.

Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (left) and Major Kayode Sutton, Director of ELEVATE (right).

Major Kayode Sutton, Director of ELEVATE, said he is particularly proud of the entrepreneurial spirit and the mentors that are now emerging from the transformative ELEVATE Programme.

In giving one example, Major Sutton outlined that before being enrolled on the programme a number of the participants were engaged in the illegal planting and cultivation of marijuana. Today, Major Sutton said those same participants are now meaningfully engaged in livestock and crop farming and are productively contributing to the economy.

“Through the programme, we were collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, and a lot of persons identified that their interest is in agriculture and so they are now able to plant food and contribute to the food security of the nation,” Director Sutton explained.

With respect to those individuals who were “just cutting grass”, Major Sutton stated that through the programme they were able to help them elevate from just cutting grass to owning their own landscaping business, noting that “all of this encompasses the transformation of the thinking or the focus of the participant such that he should not have enough time to want to loiter around the street.”

Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said a trickle-down effect that they have since noticed is that persons on the programme, who are now engaged in successful small businesses, are actively discouraging other at-risk individuals in the community from taking similar paths.

“This is an opportunity for them to say they wanted to help the people in their communities, so I can employ these five young people and because now I can employ these five young people, these are five young people who are not going to be on the streets being idle, and that really is the goal of the programme—each one reach one, each one teach one,” Permanent Secretary Hazelle said.

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