Youth Volunteer Corps members make their marks on National Volunteer Day
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Officials from the Department of Youth Empowerment expressed pleasure with the momentum generated by the launch of its Volunteer Corps Feb. 16 and the services that members rendered on the inaugural National Volunteer Day Nov. 17, 2018.
Corps members were deployed across St. Kitts to assist a number of projects, including beach and community cleanup activities, tree planting exercises, painting projects, and serving at the National Volunteer Day Luncheon for senior citizens.
David Caines is a corps volunteer and was assigned to assist the luncheon at Government House. Caines said he had a good time with the older people and enjoyed dancing with them and hearing their stories. The young man is no stranger to community service. His backstory as a productive and compassionate teen made an impression on many and resulted in him earning a “25 Most Remarkable Teens in St. Kitts and Nevis Awards for Civic Involvement” nod in November 2015. He was 15 at the time.
Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn Richards and other ministers of government as well as Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett were on hand at Government House to serve and show appreciation for the retired nation builders.
The Key’s Community Improvement Club (KCIC) spent the Saturday voluntarily painting the home and landscaping the property of Bernard Thompson, who spent many years cleaning the drains in the community. Now a retired senior citizen and amputee, Thompson was able to benefit from the generous efforts of people in the community, who saw him work hard every day up until his retirement.
Royston Griffin, president of the club, said he was pleased that his group was able to help Thompson. Most of his members were not able to physically lend assistance on that day due to work obligations, and so Volunteer Corps member Joerecia Payne was assigned to assist. Griffin described the performance of the corps volunteer member as outstanding and said he was looking forward to future collaborations with the corps.
Pierre Liburd, acting director of the Department of Youth Empowerment, said he was overwhelmed with the volunteer initiatives and acts of compassion he witnessed on Saturday. He encouraged interested individuals between the ages of 16 and 35 who wish to make a meaningful contribution to society to join the Volunteer Corps. Recruits will undergo training and must abide by the rules in the handbook.
Similarly, Liburd encouraged agencies, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based institutions and others who need volunteers to contact the Department of Youth Department at 662-6054 or to visit the offices at the top floor of the Cable Building.