Twenty-four Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Youth Ambassadors from St. Kitts and Nevis are in the Territory to provide much needed assistance to the Government of the BVI.
The ambassadors, ranging in age from 18 to 30 years, arrived at the Pier Park today, July 30 on board the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard Cutter Stalwart PB01 after a 12 hour journey.
This initiative was the brain child of Deputy National Disaster Coordinator, Mrs. Claricia Langley-Stevens and the team at the St. Kitts based National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with support from Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department.
Mrs. Langley-Stevens said, “In disaster management, we have to look out for each other. BVI needed our help and NEMA, through the St. Kitts-Nevis Youth Ambassadors Initiative, responded to support the BVI recovery and restoration efforts. The people and government of St Kitts-Nevis are proud to make this contribution.”
On arrival at the cruise pier at 7:25 a.m., the youth contingent was met by staff from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for BVI, Mr. Jacob Adolphus. The ambassadors will spend the week on island assisting with repairs to schools, clearing of grounds at government buildings and working with the DDM in preparing sites for the installation of early warning systems.
Deputy Director of the DDM, Dr. Evangeline Inniss-Springer coordinated the arrangements with the national disaster office in St. Kitts and said the Territory is pleased to welcome the youth ambassadors.
She said, “Their support is very much needed at a time when we are rushing to prepare for the active portion of the Hurricane Season. We have a packed programme for them for the week. They will be working on a number of important initiatives that support the Territory’s Readiness Plan and we are certain that they will contribute meaningfully to the tasks that have been planned out for them.”
The DDM has received support from a number of key partners that have made it possible for the youth to be able to travel and be accommodated in the BVI.
Dr. Inniss-Springer explained, “We reached out to a number of partners to assist with making their stay here possible. The students will be accommodated at the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School in Sea Cows Bay and will be supported by the local St. Kitts-Nevis Association as well as ADRA. The contribution by the youth is significant and is in keeping with the disaster risk reduction youth programme that is promoted by the DDM. We hope that this initiative will spark interest by other youth groups locally and regionally who may wish to offer assistance to the BVI.”
The Youth Ambassadors Programme brings together youth and adult mentors to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. The programme seeks to educate young people about and encourage their participation in regional integration and development and advise policymakers on formulating development policies and programmes which address youth needs and concerns.
Updates will be provided by the DDM on the progress of their work in the Territory. The group is expected to depart on Sunday, August 5.