STEP Field Operations Manager, Mr William Phillip (left) with STEP Zonal Field Officer, Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival, Ms Janice Richardson, Ms Gillian Dasent, Ms Leesha Huggins, and Mr Theophelos Browne.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 18, 2021 (S.T.E.P.) — The Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) has an obligation to ensure the country is at its best at all times in terms of cleanliness, and has been fulfilling this mandate by using interns who are attached to community enhancement groups that are spread out around the country.

“Recently, the STEP has had reasons to zone all the community enhancement groups to maximise productivity,” said STEP Field Operations Manager, Mr William Phillip. “What used to happen in the past is that in every community/village there was a community enhancement group of STEP interns.”

It was however found out that persons on the community groups would be from the community itself and were not willing to move out of their community to work elsewhere. This disadvantaged the STEP, as when persons completed their task in the village, they would have nothing else to do and would just hang around for the rest of the day.

“What we have done recently to maximise productivity and to get more from the workers, we have sought to zone all different communities,” explained Mr Phillip. “At present we have four zones in St. Kitts. We started with Zone Two, which stretches from Boyd’s, Challengers, Old Road, Sandy Point, goes down to Newton Ground and into St. Paul’s.”

Before the zoning, the area had six community enhancement groups, one each in Boyd’s, Challengers, Newton Ground, and St. Paul’s while Sandy Point had two community enhancement groups. But following the zoning, Zone Two now has three community enhancement groups.

The groups in Newton Ground and St. Paul’s were combined to make one group, the two groups in Sandy Point were combined to make another group, while the groups in Challengers and Old Road were combined into one group. The zone is headed by a Zonal Field Officer, while each group has a Supervisor, and an Assistant Supervisor.

“We have seen an increase in productivity,” pointed out Mr Phillip. “For instance if there is an activity to be done in Sandy Point, close by Newton Ground, we can move one of the groups of that zone which will give us more manpower to complete both Sandy Point and Newton Ground and St. Paul’s in a shorter period of time.”

Recently Mr Phillip paid a visit to Zone Two, starting at Sandy Point, where he found the two groups (combined St. Paul’s and Newton Ground groups and combined Sandy Point groups) working on the Sandy Point Methodist churchyard, where he met the Zonal Field Officer Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival with the two groups. He later visited the Bronte Welsh Primary School in Boyd’s where the combined Boyd’s and Challengers group was working in the schoolyard.

“So that is one of the advantages that we have gotten by with the combination of those groups into zones – more productivity,” he pointed out. “We know we are in a better position to utilise our equipment, weed eaters and such like, and better planning for our field officers who in the past had to visit six groups in one day.”

At the Sandy Point Methodist churchyard, were supervisors Ms Janice Richardson for the Sandy Point Community Enhancement Group, and Mr Theophelos Browne for the St. Paul’s/Newton Ground Community Enhancement Group. Their respective Assistant Supervisors were Ms Leesha Huggins, and Ms Gillian Dasent.

“After the zoning was done we ended up with three groups in Zone Two and it has been a good combination working together in different areas,” said STEP Zonal Field Officer Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival. “We do more in less time as we have more persons working, and we are grateful for that.”

Giving an example of what was taking place at the Methodist churchyard in Sandy Point, Mrs Hodge-Percival noted that what would have taken splinter groups two or even three days was finished in just one day. Previously it would have been hard to bring the four splinter groups together which as a result made supervision a difficult task.

At the Bronte Welsh Primary School, the third group in Zone Two covering Challengers and Old Road was led by its supervisor, Mr Thriscan Hendrickson, and Assistant Supervisor, Ms Jewell Pelle. Also present was STEP Senior Field Officer Mr Damian Weekes.

Mr Hendrickson observed that the combined group achieves more at any given task, which has in return brought satisfaction both to the STEP interns and community members they are serving.

The other STEP zones on the island of St. Kitts are: Zone One which covers the areas from West Farm to Bird Rock, including St. Peter’s, Keys and Conaree; Zone Three which covers the area from Dieppe Bay to Mansion including Parsons Ground, Saddlers, and Tabernacle; and Zone Four which covers the area from Phillips to Cayon, including Molineux, Christ Church and Ottley’s.