by Donella Hosten
Government has pledged their commitment to having more male-oriented programmes, since a review of the new Imani Programme showed that male involvement was less than 20%. Minister for Youth, Hon Roland Bhola, said the ministry recognises the need to attract more males, hence the development of a new programme dubbed ‘M Power.’
“Whereas in the Imani you would have people going to a classroom setting, with these young men, facilitators will be taking them to the field. They will be exposed to activities like football and cricket. In addition to this, they will use some time to sit and have discussions with the young men.”
Bhola said 25 areas of skills training, including fishing and net-making, and shoe-making and repairs are being offered under the programme. M Power will see approximately 500 males enrolled in the first batch, with at least 30 males from each parish.
According to Bhola, M Power has a definite cut-off and exit strategy. They are also planning to teach the young men about saving. “We are going to speak to them [about] having them save at least $100 from their stipend,” and after 12 months, the government will match their savings.
An official start date for the programme has not yet been announced.