THE Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government, along with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have been collaborating on a study on Adolescent Well-being and Equity in Saint Lucia. The findings of this report are now available to the general public and can be found here. The report will serve as a guide for policy makers in their effort to improve the well-being of adolescents in St. Lucia.
Velda Joseph, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Equity, has stated that the report was ‘the very first comprehensive assessment of adolescent well-being and equity in the Eastern Caribbean.’ It was the culmination of work in which a number of people including Tommy Descartes and Wendell Bertrande from the Ministry of Equity contributed. Survey datasets and reports for the study were provided by the Central Statistical Office of Saint Lucia. The report promises to assist in finding remedies for the social ills which plague adolescents in St. Lucia.
The findings of this report are essential to every parent, student, adolescent, teacher, social worker, official employed in the education sector, and to every police officer. Everyone with a vested interest in this country or who intends to live here should be concerned about the elements that affect the lives and well-being of those who will one day assume the leadership positions. The report stated that the proportion of adolescents in St. Lucia was the highest among the Eastern Caribbean countries. The poverty rate and unemployment rate among adolescents in St. Lucia are also high and calls for immediate redress.
All these factors which affect the youth will inevitably impact the way in which they will manage the future that they will eventually inherit. We can either sit by and hope and pray that they manage it well, or combine our efforts in order to address the socio economic problems which will hinder their optimum performance. The Adolescent Well-being and Equity in St. Lucia report will provide all concerned with the necessary information to begin with. It will equip everyone who is knowledgeable of its content with the ability to make positive contributions in regards to adolescent development in St. Lucia.
Every adolescent, no matter how favourable their circumstances are at the moment, is in some way affected by the unfavourable circumstance of another adolescent within the society. For those who claim to be concerned about the youth; it must be made clear, that concern for one can only be proven by concern for all. — Allen Alexander