We work closely with the local people who manage the programme, and they have identified their primary volunteer needs.
A large variety of abilities and skills will be welcomed by the directors and staff of these local education initiatives. The following skills are needed to support the dedicated staff in their work supporting, training and preparing school drop-outs for a worthwhile future:
IT and webskills
organisational, accounting, marketing and human resources practitioners to help build the capacity of the project staff
organic production, pest control, husbandry and agronomics
sustainable farming and horticulture
organic pest management
practical skills - electronics, carpentry, mechanics, catering, garments and fashion
teaching - remedial English and maths, particularly practical
special needs educators, especially those experienced in autistic spectrum disorders including Aspergers Syndrome and/or those with specific learning difficulties
drama teachers and coaches
There are a number of initiatives in Saint Lucia that have been established to support young people who, for one reason or another, are not sufficiently qualified to find employment and/or who require some form of support or rehabilitation to enable them to successfully contribute to society.
One such initiative is the development of an environmentally friendly organic farm, where 22 previously unemployed young people are actively engaged, building their skills and capacity by providing them with training and environmental knowledge, and setting them up as environmental ambassadors within their own communities. The aims of the farm are to train local young people, and also to promote organic agriculture and through this to support income generation, nutritional development, natural resource conservation, food self-sufficiency and public awareness, ultimately leading to a reduction in poverty and improved health.
Another initiative, the largest, is The Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (C.A.R.E.), established in April 1993 to help disadvantaged young people to take control of their own lives. The programme is geared towards the promotion of self-empowerment by providing life skills, vocational and basic education in a nurturing and safe environment. Many young people find themselves ill equipped for life and unable to find employment. Some have failed to reach the required academic standards and left school with no formal qualifications. Others get hooked on drugs and/or turn to violence. Failure is very much part of their lives and, as a result of this lack of self-confidence, many radiate hostility and lack trust - they feel that no-one listened to them. C.A.R.E works with young people between the ages of 12 and 20. The objective of the programme is to foster positive attitudes in young people towards themselves, others and work, improving their communication, inter-personal, educational and vocational skills, empowering them towards leading a more independent life and training them to manage their own sexuality and emotions. C.A.R.E. is a highly respected organisation within Saint Lucia and is recognised and supported by the Department of Education. Many local businesses accept their trainees for work placements. There are several centres throughout the beautiful and lush island of Saint Lucia. Volunteers will be placed in the centre where their particular skills and support are appropriate and most needed.
Our partners also work with various other organisations doing similar work in providing support for young people - some are well-established, and some are more short-term. As a volunteer in this programme, you will be matched to one of several organisations and locations, depending on where your particular skills and experience can be best used.
To learn more about how the volunteer programme works with this project read more here.
St. Lucia is sold as a Sun Sea and Sand paradise destination enjoyed by many. However the reality is that a significant portion of the population does not benefit from the tourist dollar. This contributes to marginalization of many Saint Lucians, particularly the youth, who without access to education and employment opportunities are vulnerable to a life of crime and failure.
As a responsible volunteer in this project, you will be able to make a real difference to these young people's lives and in turn help reduce the huge social and economic divide that exists on this beautiful island.
Volunteer opportunities in this programme are many and varied. Whether you are a professional teacher or classroom assistant, retired or in work and looking for a career break, you can share your skills and experience with local teaching staff in this education development project.
Other skills and experience will also be welcome – take a look at the list of needs, as identified by the project, near the top of this page. You can play your part in responsible volunteer work overseas.