One of the assignments of Darren Turnquest, Director of Youth at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, during his stay on Abaco was to meet with youth group leaders as a follow-up on the Youth Group Leaders training that took place a few months ago.
Only a few people attended the workshop which was held at Abaco Central High school in the morning of February 23, most of them teachers. Also present was the permanent Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Phedra Rahming who also acted as administrative liaison.
The goal of the workshop was to strengthen the existing youth groups or offer help to people about to create one. There are many operating youth groups on Abaco, most of them associated with religious denominations. What we need, said Mr. Turnquest, is a uniform organization to bring everyone together. An organization that will foster growth and open avenues for young people to breach the gap and interact together, in spite of race, color or nationality, he explained.
Mr. Turnquest reminded the audience that grants were available from the Ministry to groups whose goals match their objectives to the needs of the youth in the communities.
Such needs may be psychological and moral, such as offering sex education and addressing issues such as abuse. He reminded the leaders that when a grant is accepted, the group leaders are to offer free camp to at least five to seven children and that it is the responsibility of the leaders to run their program. “The government is only here to assist, not to run the program”, he insisted.
When he returns to Abaco, Mr. Turnquest said that he expected to meet with as many youth leaders as possible.